Reflection 122720 December 27, 2020 Rev Sunny Kim
Luke 2:22-40/ Galatians 4:4-7
Children and Heirs at Christmas
After blessing my best friends’ wedding, they had been trying hard and waiting long to adopt a child. They went to parenting classes, wrote their profiles, and waited till they got a match. It was a long waiting period, and they had an “almost” case that ended up being taken away from them. Mike was especially devastated since he was the one who strongly wanted children. Then three years later, they had good news. They were given two children, biological siblings. Their biological mom is a broken woman, abused as a child by her father and went through the foster system herself. Their biological dad has a drug addict for a mother and has a tendency towards violence. They were taken away from their mom the day after their births and placed in a foster home. When they first came to live with my friends, they looked like they were straight out of a Dickensian orphanage. When I received their photos several months later, they looked noticeably different. Now that they are psychologically settled and happy, they look like children from a good family. It is natural, since they are not the children of troubled parents anymore; they are now the children of a medical doctor and an IT specialist working for the federal government.
It is Christmas. We celebrated the birth of the One who connected us with God the Creator; this is what it means to say that Jesus brought salvation for his people. Today’s two scripture readings illuminate the hope and joy of a new (metaphorical) dawn. In our gospel text, the baby Jesus is brought to the temple to be consecrated to God. We meet Simeon and Anna, who rejoice at the sight of this special baby because they can feel that he is the One for whom their people have been waiting. We can understand that feeling. We remember how we felt on our first day of school, first date with our loved ones, first day of marriage, first day at our new jobs, and so on. We are filled with hope, optimism, anticipation, and joy. Through this baby who will grow up and lead his people, and us, back to God. Therefore, in a way, the birth of Jesus is also the birth of our new identities as God’s people. That is why, even though Jesus was born more than 2000 years ago, we feel a similar hope and anticipation this time of the year. Jesus came to remind us that we are God’s children and should live like God’s children.
Today’s Galatians text reminds us that we are God’s children. When we make the commitment to follow Jesus, we are given a new identity as God’s children. Paul reminds us that children are the heirs to their parents. Through Jesus, we are the heirs of God’s kingdom. There’s one catch to being an heir: we have to be on good terms with the parents whose property we will inherit. If we stray away from the parents, we don’t get to be their heirs. However, we should remember that being with God is the happiest thing in the world. If we are in a close relationship with God, the Holy Spirit will give us a loving heart with which to love all God’s people. Loving and being in harmony with one another gives us the greatest peace of mind, and with peace comes great joy in our hearts.
Therefore, let us celebrate this Season of Christmas (yes, Christmas is not a day but a whole season). Let us be filled with a new hope and anticipation for the new year. Let us renew our identities and lives as God’s children and heirs to God’s kingdom, and spend our lives loving and serving like Jesus did. Merry Christmas! I pray that you will be blessed with the abundant love of God with which we will love one another. Let us rejoice at the birth of Jesus! Let us rejoice because we belong to God and God’s kingdom! Let us rejoice because, with God’s love spreading in our communities, we shall know true peace and joy.
May the eagerness of the shepherds, the joy of the angels, the perseverance of the Magi, the faithfulness of Joseph and Mary, and the peace of the Christ Child be yours this Christmas season. Amen.