Time for Reflection

 In Sermons, Teachings

Ashley Bekkerus - December 29, 2019

Time for Reflection

Christmas is for Dreamers

The end of a year is always a time to look back at the highs and lows of the last year. This practice has profound spiritual value as well. Isaiah shows us how looking back reveals God's pattern of salvation: God imagines new possibilities for us, then is present with us to walk into those new possibilities. How can we prepare ourselves for God's presence in the new year?

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this sermon was written and delivered by Ashley Bekkerus

Today is the last Sunday of the year and about this time we normally look back on the past year and reflect on how things have changed or how we’ve grown. Today, though, is a particularly interesting Sunday because it happens to be the last Sunday of the entire decade. The reality of the end of the decade has caused lots of people to create “Best of” lists for the last 10 years. The “Top 10 best songs of the decade” list came out from multiple sites, donning songs like, “Royals” by Lorde and “All too Well” by Taylor Swift. Many sites also released a “Top 10 Best Movies of the Decade” list as well, which had movies like Big Hero 6 and Whiplash. 

While we as a culture enjoy looking back on the good times of the past year or decade, lists have also popped up like, “10 worst songs of the decade,” which include songs like, “Sexy and I know it” and “Blurred Lines.” There were also the “10 worst movies of the decade,” which included movies like, “Dark Tide,” and “The Layover.” 

Many apps have also moved to make lists like this personalized. So, if you have an iPhone, your photos app will show you a video of “your year in review” using your pictures. Facebook shows you your year through your posts. And, if you use Spotify, then that app will even give a “Top Ten” lists of songs you seem to have loved this year. 

We love to reflect on our last year for many reasons. For some of us, it’s to see the growth. For others of us, it’s to look back and see the changes that an entire year can hold. We look back and see all the change, both good and bad, and it helps us look at our situation and say, “this situation too is going to change in this next year or decade.” 

We look at all the differences from our past year or past decade and it helps us to imagine what the future could hold. We imagine all of our growth in the next year. We imagine all the good things that are to come, much like there were good things in this last year or in this last decade. What’s cool is that this practice is also a spiritual practice. To reflect on how God has interacted in your world is something that takes faith because it grows our faith. 

What we find in the end is that God’s presence with us creates possibilities.

God’s interaction in our world has created new things, maybe changes from something old, or maybe new life, or maybe redemption in some relationship or other part of your life. God’s interaction and presence with us throughout this past year created possibilities for us and those possibilities spurred on more possibilities and so on.

Since it’s something we’re already doing at this point in the year, let’s imagine what the next year or next decade will look like, knowing that God’s presence with us creates possibilities.

Join us Sunday as we discover how God is present with us as we head into a new year!

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