Ministers Column – December 2010

Dear Ones:

Seasons Greetings! Former UUS:E member, the Rev. Mary Wellemeyer, has written a wonderful meditation entitled “Christmas Eve Night.” I want to share it here, in a slightly adapted form, to help you reflect on the meaning of the holiday season in your life.

Like those shepherds who were on the hillsides with their flocks, like those wise ones in their observatories with their telescopes and astronomical charts, we find our daily work interrupted by these holidays. Like them, we can’t keep on working, we have to listen to singing angels, we have to deal with the call of that special star. The little town of Bethlehem is thronged with people who have come to be taxed, crowding streets and shops, and we have to find our way to an unknown place where a wonderful new beginning awaits.

What precious new beginning are you seeking this season? For what do you push through crowds?

What have the angels told you? What is the call of the star in your life?

Our theme for December is hope. Perhaps it seems an obvious choice. The story of Christmas is a hopeful story. The story of Hanukah is a hopeful story. Any story that focuses on light in a time of darkness is a hopeful story. Even so, hope is not always easy to find. And given the many dilemmas and challenges in our country and our world—most notably the ongoing economic recession—hope often seems in short supply.

This is why I like Mary Wellemeyer’s reading. Her questions remind me about one very significant source of hope in our lives. At their core these questions ask us to reflect on things about which we are truly passionate. I’ve noticed that I am most hopeful when my living is aligned with my passions. I’ve noticed that I feel most whole, most fulfilled and most alive when my living is aligned with my passions.

I am passionate about living with integrity and authenticity. I am passionate about family and community.

I am passionate about seeking justice for the oppressed. I am passionate about playing with and reading to my children. I am passionate about fairness, equality and inclusion. I am passionate about Unitarian Universalism and being a person of faith. Each time I come back to these things I feel hopeful. I feel like I’m experiencing a new beginning, like I’m pushing through crowds, like the angels are speaking, like the star is calling.

May you find your passion in this holiday season. My you find your source of hope.

With love,

Rev. Josh