Sermon for Second Sunday of Christmas (Matthew 2.13-end)
Preached at Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church, St Andrews
1 January 2017
In Scotland, Hogmanay has traditionally been the bigger of the two December celebrations. No doubt some of us can remember the time when Christmas wasn’t even a public holiday this side of the border.
Well when I was wee, our house operated a mixed economy: my parents were English and so they’d grown up with Christmas as the main event; but we were in Scotland, where Hogmanay was a big deal, so we had major celebrations for both. Hogmanay meant a late night in someone’s house, lots of party food (vol-au-vents, sausages on sticks!) and free-flowing single malt. Then a long lie the next day, and the wait for someone to First Foot us with a lump of coal wrapped in newspaper. Read more
All I want for Christmas, just about now, is a break! I read somewhere in the last few days that being ordained really messes with your family Christmas traditions, and I can testify to that.
I will still get a holiday – it’ll just happen when every else goes back to work. Before that, though, I have to finish and submit my last essay for 2015 (yup, last year) for my MLitt. It’s about postmodern biblical interpretation, and I’ve been doing some reading on the subject of Queer Theology for it. It probably isn’t about to become my new favourite topic, but it does have its moments, and when I came across this quote I thought it was too good to ignore.
“That the divine immersed itself in flesh and that flesh is now divine is Queer Theology at its peak. There can be no sanitization here or something of the divine essence will be lost—it is not the genetically modified, metaphysical son of god that declares the divine human con- junction but the screaming baby born amidst the cow shit and fleas, covered in his birthing blood and received into the uncertain arms of his child/mother that declares salvation for all. Male theologians have preferred to distance themselves from these all too earthy moments and in so doing have missed the point—the divine is earthy, messy and partial and is to be found there in all its glory, not in splendid doctrine stripped of all humanness.”
– Marcella Althaus-Reid and Lisa Isherwood “Thinking Theology and Queer Theory.” Feminist Theology 15(3) (2007): pp.302-14, 310.
A belated, messy, glorious Merry Christmas to you.