It is amazing to think, that we are all gathered here this evening, to celebrate the birthday of a boy who was born 2000 years ago.  There is no-one else who has ever lived where millions of people celebrate their birthday, year after year for over 2000 years.

And while we know a few names from those times – Julius Caesar, Nero, Cleopatra, Ptolemy –  no-one ever celebrated their birthdays after they died – let alone for 2000 years after!

We usually remember the big, important guys – the rulers, the Kings and Emperors, or famous warriors like Alexander the Great or Napoleon Bonaparte.  But when we look at the history of those people – well, they weren’t very nice!  They robbed, blackmailed, double crossed, killed and murdered – no wonder we don’t remember their birthdays!

But, Jesus, now Jesus was a nice guy, a good guy – in fact he was the best guy who ever lived!  Do we remember him because he was good?  Or because he did miracles?  Or because he started the Church, which is still going now 2000 years later?

Well, I guess it is partly all those things, but I think we also remember him because he said he was the son of God the Father – hmm, which makes him God come to earth.  Yes, I am sure that made him memorable.

But I think the main reason is, that Jesus Christ is still with us today – in spirit, not yet in body – but he is still with us, guiding us to do what is right, what is best for all.  Not many of us white people know about, let alone see spirits – but Aboriginal people see spirits all the time – they are much more sensitive than us. And they know that the spirit world exists.

So, Jesus Christ is still with our world, helping us, urging us to be better, urging us to get along – to love one another.  All the things that he told us to do 2000 years ago – he is still telling us.

I guess he is pretty disappointed.  2000 years – I think we have improved, though Adolph Hitler, Idi Amin, Pol Pot and other assorted mass-murderers, terrorists and dictators in the 20th century alone, don’t look good for the human race.  We are really like a bunch of errant children, doing anything we can to get what we want, and using weapons and violence, fear and intimidation to get it.  It is just that the weapons nowadays are scary.  And the impacts on our poor old planet are huge.

So, perhaps this Christmas, all of us need to improve the image of the human race – let’s help Jesus along.  Every Christmas the message of Peace and Joy goes out to the world – let us try and live it.  Not react in anger and petulance when we don’t get what we want.

May we be truly grateful for living in this rich and beautiful country and may we, each of us, spread peace and goodwill to all we meet.

God bless and Merry Christmas.