Reflection for Lessons and Carols 2021
Tony E Dillon Hansen
Reflection for Genesis – Creation and Covenant
Our first gift: Creation: beginnings. These stories from Genesis remind us that all were created by our Creator and given bountiful gifts in a beautiful garden we call Earth. God gives us the task of stewardship over this creation – these gifts. Remember that you are a child of our Creator and have been given so much.
Another of our gifts is the covenant with the Holy One. Covenants mean relationships, and relationships means sharing. Covenants, especially with God, help us to understand our purpose; that we are meant to be here in this place and in this time.
God is there all the time. That covenant remains even when we fail. So when you are looking for answers or solace, find God ready to help. As well, part of our covenant means to be there for others around us – to share. So what do you do with your gifts? How do you share your gifts?
Reflection for Micah and Psalm 103 - God of Peace and Justice.
Peace, justice, compassion and forgiveness - gifts from God. Yet for us, in order to understand peace and justice, we must practice compassion and forgiveness. When we do, we might grow to be what we are meant to be. Thus, when we ask God to forgive our debts let us also be willing to forgive our debtors. Else we are weighed down by our broken misery and angers.
From a broken world searching for meaning, God’s mission for us is not one of wealth and power but peace and loving kindness for all people: friends, neighbor, or foe. Why because God loves us so much. Beloved, we are God’s children and the gifts of compassion, forgiveness, peace and justice are ready for you. When you practice compassion and forgiveness, you will find peace and justice flourish around you. When you realize this, yes, you receive wisdom, another gift of God.
Reflection for Luke 2: 1-7 - Birth
Birth is beautiful and messy. Even when adopting, the first day, the first moment, We come into being. This is full of excitement and realization.
Whether an animal or human being, there is a parent and youth; there is a family with many possibilities and worries. This is a beginning for some, and for some, this is renewal. God gives a chance for newness in birth. For we were created in darkness, and through Christ, we are born into new life with so much possibility.
Yet we begin something new together, (and we cannot go back to the past.) Each moment is a chance for rebirth as we consider where we are, where we have been and where we go from here. That is anxious, scary, breathtaking, and it is exhilarating joyfulness. How can we renew and embrace the joy of birth – the gift of life!?
Reflection for Luke 2:8-16 and Matthew 2:1-11 - Shepherds and Foreigners.
Beloved, Fear not for good news is with you! Angels appear to the shepherds (those who tend flocks) and are given a sign that they follow – in order to witness -To witness Christ born into our world.
Foreigners come to the land with hopeful hearts following the Christmas star to witness. Like my own foreign exchange student, they teach us about our land and gifts we have when we first welcome. So observe all the beauty around us and most importantly, welcome with God’s love in your hearts.
Shepherds and foreigners were drawn together because our Shepherd, Jesus, was born this day to teach us and to lead us. They are gifts to remind us that our witness begins with welcome.
Reflection for Romans 8:35-39 – Promises Fulfilled with Divine Love.
Our lessons today remind us that God has given us so many gifts, especially this child. God brings us together with these gifts, with divine love, and asks us to share with those around us. Because a truly cherished gift is not one we hoard but one that we share with others and because God shares with us first.
St Paul tells us that nothing can separate us from that divine love. Why because we grow together when we welcome and let God work with us. That love is our bond. Of all of the gifts, we can trust God, and we can trust in these gifts unlike many other gifts we may get in our lives.
Still, we are want to trust God only when our bank accounts are doing ok, people are healthy, or there is calm in the air. Yet, when bills are difficult, pandemics are ugly, when you feel your back is up against the wall (trying to figure things out), take heart that nothing can separate us from the love and promises from God.
We may fail because we are imperfect, but God and Jesus do not fail us. This is the true gift of Christmas. Covenant bonded with love.
We can look into the future with hope because God gives a place to start, again and again. So what do we do with these gifts? Along with the gifts we observe here tonight, we have been given, we have the tasks of stewardship, sharing and welcoming.
We are formed in darkness to meet the new day. We might worry because we may fail, but we live in this moment and there is a light. Be born into new life with Christ this night.
Good Morning is coming with good news of angels. Find the courage to serve – to share.
That is the Christmas promise: that hope is real and God is here. Forgive, let go, let love and renew in this season - as we share in the light of Christ.
Thanks Be to God