This Sunday, our guest priest used his authority to deliver a homily during the time set aside for "Announcements". Our preacher has served us many times in the past, and as he is rather advanced in years, his style of delivery tends to be "deliberate" which can cause some to lose track of the message.
I hope people were able to stay focused as this was one of his best efforts. He emphasized the awesome thing that really, really happened 2013 years ago. God came into the world, and people need to be reminded of this as a time dividing event. We prefer to live in the darkness, but light has entered in.
It is rare for us to hear about our natural inclination to keep God in heaven while we have fun in the darkness, and I thought back on how quickly the Church can turn to darkness after a time in the light. Such is the time of the Episcopal church as it immerses itself deeper and deeper into the darkness with each successive season. This year I have witnessed the darkness creeping into our little church with such innovations as a Baptism during which the "parents" were two men and the Godfather was the rector's husband, and I have witnessed the introduction of "open communion" proclaimed by the new rector on several occasions (especially on high holy days).
As our guest priest described the mystery of this supernatural occurrence which we call Christmas, I thought about how good it was to get back to normal, if only for a Sunday. I was reminded that while we are only a generation away from pulling the shades against the light, we are also just a generation away from stepping out of the darkness. As the current generation of aging revisionist priests fades away, let us pray that the damage they have done will be repaired by a future generation of leaders who really, really believe all that stuff the Gospel writers attested to all those years ago.