The great theologian Howard Thurman wrote “One of the simple things that is very good and very positive about a New Year is the fact that one does have another chance, that there is available to the individual the fluid dimension of time that has not been frozen and passed on into the past. It is liquid, living, vital.”
I find it helpful to remember that this turning of the page on the year’s calendar does allow us a clean slate, a chance to begin again, to reflect on what it is that we wish to embrace, affirm, and carry forward into the new year. It is especially helpful and important to remember our own opportunities for action at a time when the mood across the country has been somber with many people feeling hopeless. But hopelessness will not help us and we will do well to focus on the areas where we can have an impact – in caring for one another, most certainly, but also in the community around us we can continue to be a place of welcome, a beacon of hope in a dark time. Our liberal faith and our open hearts and minds are needed now more than ever.
2016 saw the ugliest presidential campaign in modern history and the election ended in a result that surprised many of us. The weeks between the election and the inauguration allow us time to catch our collective breath and adjust to the new reality. Let us not cede 2017 to despair, but neither should we go off in multiple directions, reacting to every provocative utterance from those newly in power. Let’s use this new year to sharpen our resolve, to clarify that which is most important to us, and be wise about how we work for justice, finding new allies; and when we say “we” or “us,” may we always mean one more.
With love as our guide, we cannot fail.