Last Sunday I talked about some of the ways our UU tradition has failed people of color. How we have fallen short of our aspiration to be a truly welcoming faith. The good news is, there’s plenty of work for us to do, inside these walls and out in the world. Our world needs us! I hope you’ll come be part of the conversation on social justice today at noon.
Today I want to lift up our potential, our giftedness, the possibilities that lie before us. Even with the struggles of these days, I am generally hopeful about what lies ahead. I sense that the pains of this time are the birth pangs of an expansion of more liberty and more justice for more people. The problem right now is that some folks are fearful about what’s changing; they are worried about what they could lose. They assume there’s a limited amount of human rights to go around. That you getting your freedom somehow diminishes mine. That you having more opportunity means I get less. But that’s not how it works! There isn’t a limited amount of love or justice in our world. We can create as much of that as we want!
We just sang, “There is more love, some where… I’m gonna keep on, ’til I find it….” That song comes out of the African American spiritual tradition. It was created and sung by slaves because it helped them have the to have the hope and courage to carry on, when there wasn’t much reason for hope.
When you sing a song, it’s helps to know where it comes from, who sang it, and why—what their experience was, what their lives were like. So you can give that song and those people the reverence and respect they deserve.
Have you ever asked a child about Christmas? If you looked into the eyes of a little one and said, “Tell me what you know about Christmas. What’s it all about?,” what would they say?
I imagine it would be something like, “There was this lady, who has a baby, and it’s born in a stable, and there are animals, and guess what? the baby is God. There were angels and candles and singing. But it was a silent night. And then there were presents!”
This Sunday I want to help you get ready for Christmas. People ask you that, right? “Are you ready for Christmas?” they say. What do you think that means? Probably something like, “Have you done all your shopping?” or “Have you done all your decorating?” Maybe it means, “Are your sufficiently stressed out, so that now Christmas can come and then you can collapse in exhaustion?” I hope that’s not your experience, because Christmas is this beautiful and rich season that invites us into a deeper experience of being alive, of being in touch with the Holy, of being reminded that if we meet God anywhere, it is right here—in this moment, in these bodies. And I need that, and I expect you do too.