As the church year begins, we thought we’d start with a new offering to our congregation and friends: a short message each week from one of our ministers that speaks to us as spiritual beings. Here is the first one, from me – Reverend John
Someone told me the other day that she won’t let her teenage daughter watch the news anymore because it makes her cry. She sees images of our government repelling asylum seekers and children in caged rooms separated from their parents and her heart breaks. Aren’t all our hearts breaking right now? What kind of a nation have we become?
I have been thinking a great deal about lamentation these days, recognizing that despite our optimistic theology, most of us are facing a world that seems to be more callous by the day. There is much to lament as citizens of this country and this world. I think it is especially difficult for us as progressive people of faith to square our theological optimism (“Onward and Upward Forever” in the words of the Unitarian James Freeman Clark) with the reality that we seem to have taken a step backward as a nation.
Yet if we accept our lamentations as real, that is if we own them and cry them, then the hope that can emerge from that sorrow will be all the more real. Hope, unlike optimism, is the perseverance that comes out of our struggle. Hope is frayed yet resilient and hope is what we have as a people of faith.
Now more than ever is the time for us to come together in worship to own the sorrow and proclaim the faith that we shall overcome. We can’t ignore the news but we can imagine a world, if only in our own small corner of it, as something more in keeping with our better angels. Come let us start again.
See you in church, Rev. John