Years ago I heard a paraphrase of John 3:16. If it didn't come directly from Teilhard de Chardin, a Jesuit paleontologist writing in the 1950s, it emerged from one of his disciples.
God so loved the world that He planted the Christ seed so deep in nature that over time it evolved into the person of Jesus of Nazareth, who thus quickened the Christ seed in others.
The Christ seed breaks forth tonight in the retelling of the birth of Jesus. And the Christ seed which quickened the world two thousand years ago, has -- through spiritual evolution, been planted in each of us. As we ponder the Christmas story, I invite you to consider yourself as a 21st century magi, in that you have been led to the manger. We come to see this thing which has come to pass, to behold it, to adore it. Our mere presence is the gift we leave. And then we are expected, yes expected -- to bring our unique giftedness, our Christ seed, out to the world -- guided by the light of Christ, to quicken the Christ seed among people and places that are enshrouded in darkness.