Our work for peace must begin within the private world of each one of us.
As months full of turning points and surprises go, this last one was a quite something. Regardless of where you might fall on the political spectrum, I think we all can agree about the last few weeks being memorable. I know a lot of members and friends of our congregation had concerns going into the election and have concerns now. At least one of the most mean-spirited political seasons in living memory is over.
I believe that communities like ours become more important, not less, during times like this. Our way of being religious, our values, our vision for our community and nation, matter. They really do matter.
Lest we forget, we have been a community that makes a difference for a very long time. Members of this congregation were patriots fighting for the founding of this nation. We were abolitionists struggling to end slavery. We were reformers advocating for the creation of public education, social relief organizations, and prison reform. We were suffragists laboring for the right of women to vote. We are a community that is part of a larger tradition that strives to make our world a better place.
And that tradition continues to this day. The torch is handed to us at a time like this, as we stand up for our values, our interpretation of religion and scripture, and our belief that diversity does not make us weaker but rather contributes to our vibrancy and strength as a people. And we are a part of larger tradition that believes God is found in this sort of work. In the words of a former minister, “Church is the place where you get to practice what it means to be human.”
During this season of Advent, we are invited to reach out to the world in acts of hope, peace, joy and love. I hope all of us will take one of the many opportunities we each have to do just that, be they large or small. Our youth are practicing “random acts of kindness” this month. Our members are finding ways to converse and connect about things that matter to us. (See information about our new “Conversation Circles.”) During this season of merriment and festival of good tidings, there are so many ways that we can bring light to the lives of others, and then ourselves. This is what this time of the year is all about.