Sunday, January 1 – “The Work of Christmas”

View this recorded version of Sunday Worship from January 1, 2023.

Bible Verses

Ecclesiastes 3:1-13 and Matthew 25:31-46

Reflection: The Work of Christmas

Excerpts from the reflection by Rev. Dr. Fred Grewe:

“We ask that you would, at the beginning of this New Year, that you would give us eyes to see this year what you see, that you would break our hearts with the things that break yours, and that we would let go of the nonsense. It’s just not important. As we begin this season. We ask that you would help us to walk with you, to walk humbly with you, to do justice and mercy, and to love you as best we can.

So it’s [the writer of Ecclesiastes] that tells us there’s a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to pluck up what is planted, and I think what the writer of of this wisdom text is saying to us is that there are moments for everything under heaven and to embrace the moment when it comes, and to not allow the past–whatever it was that happened in the past–to rob you from the opportunity this moment affords. And embrace this moment when it comes. In all moments come a time to seek and a time to lose, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. All these moments will come in our lifetime, and when the moment comes embrace the moment, and not allow our past to cause us to miss the moment or not allow the fear of what might happen in the future to cause us to miss the moment, but to be prepared to embrace the moment when it comes.

And I would say tying it together with the other text [from Matthew] to make more make sure we’re acting more like sheep in the moment rather than goats. That we are looking to be compassionate in the moment, to do good in the moment, not to do bad.

To not be so afraid of what lack there may be in the future that I need to hoard now and miss the moment of giving, to be able to be so alive and present in the moment in the season that my heart is open and I can simply behave as a good sheep as the Shepherd says, and give myself to the moment, and do what is called for.

Now, as we begin this new year we’re gonna have many moments in 2023. I have no idea what moments are gonna come your way or my way; no clue. But my encouragement this morning would be to live in such a way connected with this Divine Being we call God, that we are open and ready for every moment as they come, as best we can be, and trusting whatever we may need in the moment, the divine other will provide for us.

My friends, are our final blessing this morning comes from one of my favorite writers. His name was Brennan Manning, and he writes: ‘Our culture says that ruthless competition is the key to success. But Jesus says ruthless compassion is the purpose of our journey’. And so may you live with ruthless compassion this week. Blessings, blessings on you! Bye, bye.