Hope. Peace. Joy. Love. These are the four themes for Advent Sundays and have been the focus of each worship service as we’ve traveled down this December pathway to the light. They are also critical values for a religious/spiritual community to uphold throughout the year. But they are abstract nouns and sometimes I struggle to get a handle on them. Sometimes I wonder if I’m communicating with all of you about them in a way that is concrete, practical, and sensible. Am I giving you something to work with?
So, I take a step back and reflect. I look at all of you and what you are doing, and I see the values of hope, peace, joy, and love in all that you do and in the UUCL church culture that you are creating. It’s magical to watch. It’s the Spirit of Life coming into being, growing stronger as we work, build, and create together.
A few weeks ago, the UUA posted an article on Facebook called, “The Next Stage of Witch Resistance is Here”: (https://religionnews.com/2019/11/15/the-next-stage-of-witch-resistance-is-here/).
Now, I know what some of you think when I use the word “magic”. Most of you love it, you get it. And some of you are rolling your eyes at me. (You know I know who you are and I love that we can laugh about our disagreement together). But, I don’t think you understand what I’m talking about and as soon as you hear that word, you shut out the deeper meaning I’m trying to convey. I love this article, and can’t wait to read the book, because it articulates so well the way I use the word “magic”. Magic isn’t about casting spells and thinking unscientifically about changing or warping reality. It’s about a change in perspective, cultivating “an ideology or a value system that is at odds with the oppressive ‘real’ world…”.
And so, when we plant the values of hope, peace, joy, and love in our worship services, when we hear stories about these values in action, when we sing about them, when we nurture our children as they act out ways of being together and working together and making things happen, we are doing magic together. Then, we start to change the way we are together. We behave in ways that are peaceful and loving. I see more hugs, more listening ears, more caring for each other. We find more ways to be joyful together. I see more laughing and the creation of new activities that connect us and feed our souls. We stop hoping for new chairs and we make them appear! And that gives us more hope for all the other things we want to create together. The abstract nouns that we uplift in our sacred space are becoming concrete and tangible in our sacred space.
Wow. I am filled with joy this holiday season as I reflect on the gift that is this congregation. We have so much to give to each other and the world around us. We’ve done magic together, and I hope you take the time this holiday season to realize how magical you are, that your being in this community is a gift, and also what a gift this community is to you, too.
Blessings to all of you this holiday season.