Reflection: Rev. Dr. Kristin Philipson
When I think about what brings me joy in life I am struck by the smallness of the
moments that come to mind. Joy for me, I’ve come to realize, is not the feeling I get when I
crane up at the ceiling in a great cathedral or spin to take in the heights of mountains or peer
cautiously at the depth of a canyon – these are moments of wonder and amazement and awe. Joy for me tends to appear suddenly and in the minutiae of my daily life.
I sat down to make a list and the most ordinary memories emerged. The quiet morning years and years ago when my children and I had stayed home, no playgroups or activities. We were sitting on the floor and I was adding block structures to the land they were building. I remember the feeling distinctly – a profound sense of wellbeing, just being in that moment, allowing myself to just be with these who needed me.
Other memories came to mind as well, snuggling in blankets, reading to my kids after their naptime when they were little, or reading to them as they fell asleep – Ramona, and Harry Potter, Now We Are Six, Farmer Boy. Nights playing cards at the dining room table. Laughing with friends. The first time I held my husband’s hand.
Joy is what I feel whenever I consciously delight in the simple, and the small, and the ordinary. Here is a fleeting glimpse of heave, right here on earth. Indeed, the sacred story of this season celebrates the joy of God-with-us in the humbleness of the everyday. God comes to be with us, not just in the great cathedral and in the majesty of mountain and valley, but in a silent night, and in the radiance of a child, the family and its friends who pop by and the animals the site of all that’s most holy and sacred. May the simple, small, and ordinary moments in life bring you joy and add a little of delight and tenderness to your journey.
Reflection: Rev. Roberta Howey
I worked at a day care centre during one of the most trying times for childcare; when Frozen came out. Imagine a sea of children, of different ages and backgrounds, having memorized the entirety of that Disney musical, belting it out for hours on end. They would recreate it, would draw it, would declare themselves ALL Elsa or Anna. It was a trial, but one I survived.
It is one of the reasons I love kids. They do not care about how well they sing, or if someone is watching. They know the music, love the music, and sing at 6 in the morning because their hearts demand it. It is the thing that brings them joy, and no one, no teacher, parent, grandparent, or even Santa, will stop the song in their heart.
That amount of joy is one that I try to find every day. I may not belt out the words to Hamilton: The Musical every day, but I recognize that music is one of the great sources of joy for us. It is a God-Given gift, to say what is on our hearts and spirits in song. To express our whole selves with melody, and to find others to sing in harmony with us. It is freeing and exhilarating and soul-crushing and holy. Music, song, dance, they all make the world not just go ‘round, but to do so with a beat.
Today, I invite us all to embrace our inner child. Whether you are as talented as our artists from today’s service, or we sound more like my cat at dinner time. Find your song. Dig deep. And “Let it Go”.