A Word From Our Pastor - July Message
I’ve learned that certain birthdays are more meaningful for us…usually because of whatever we’ve gone through or accomplished in the preceding year. Our eighteenth birthday is often that way because it is the year we graduate from our childhood into the next phase of life.
My twenty-seventh birthday was similar, but it was marked by the challenge and difficulty of the preceding year, as I struggled with my spirit life and how I could (should?) connect with the divine in my life. The next birthday was much more of a celebratory time.
This year has given all of us a remarkable time to struggle…to do introspection…to evaluate…to contemplate…to change…to grow…both as individuals, as a church, and as a nation.
What will the birthday we celebrate on this Fourth of July mean for us?
Will it be only a time of relief that the worst is over? Will it be a time of mourning for the tragedies we’ve gone through…or for the things which have been taken from us? Will it be a celebration of what we’ve overcome?
I hope it is all those things…but I hope it is so much more.
So much of this last year asked us fundamental questions about ourselves and the communities around us – Will we continue on the same trajectories that have brought some of the calamities of the last year? Or will we have the strength and courage, the vision and fortitude, to strike out in a wonderful new direction that will transform the future forever?
My twenty-seventh year changed me completely…in indelible ways. And I am so thankful, for it helped me become a much more wondrous Jim than I could have imagined before that year.
But it took intentional and profound (and sometimes profoundly difficult) effort to do that.
To heal our nation…to dream of our future…to transform ourselves…will take that same type of effort, not just by one, or even a few of us. It will require the majority of us to open ourselves to that transformation, to dream that future into being.
So on the Fourth of July celebrate…and then prepare yourself for the challenge ahead of us. It will require all our best effort.