daring to be

We look with uncertainty
beyond the old choices for
clear-cut answers
to a softer, more permeable aliveness
which is every moment
at the brink of death;
for something new is being born in us
if we but let it.
We stand at a new doorway,
awaiting that which comes…
daring to be human creatures,
vulnerable to the beauty of existence.
Learning to love.
          —Anne Hillman

     I do believe, along with Anne Hillman, that “something new is being born in us if we but let it.”  There are forces in our world that currently ask us kowtow to abusive demonstrations of power, that expect us to relinquish our values and principles out of fear, that encourage us to turn a blind eye to injustices because they tell us we are too helpless to change them.  But, no.  At the brink of this new year, we stand at a new doorway.  The old choices and the status quo will not be enough to meet the challenges that stand before us.  So, we are invited to become new creatures, “human creatures, vulnerable to the beauty of existence.”  We are invited to stand solidly in our faith, claim our moral authority, and point boldly to other, more life-giving possibilities for ourselves, our families, our communities, and our world.
     Lately, Clivie and I have been having many conversations about King Herod.  Clivie is absolutely intrigued that Herod tried to trick the Wise Men and wanted to hurt Jesus—“who was just a little baby” and “just wanted to teach people how to love everyone.”  His 4-year-old understanding of right and wrong is sending up warning flares, and he wants to know who is going to stop King Herod.  Because clearly, he knows, someone has to stop him.  And he wonders, is King Herod alive today?  No, I tell him, but there are people like him alive today—people who want to hurt other people just so they can help themselves.  Well, who stops them from doing that, he asks.  “I know Jesus tells us we can’t fight like this [Clivie demos his fiercest karate kick.], but who are the good guys who stop them?”
     Well, my friends, that work falls to us.  We are the ones who have to learn how to love; who have to speak out against injustice, hatred, and fear; who have to connect our faith with the world in which we live; who have to stop the war on the most vulnerable segments of our communities; who have to create the kind of world where all people can grow and flourish.  This is our sacred work for the year ahead.  I look forward to this new year of ministry with you!

See you in church,



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