Hope Changes Everything

“Hope Changes Everything: Sing, People, Sing”
Emma’s Revolution

The colder, shorter days are upon us. Winter holidays approach, full of joyful and exhausting traditions and celebrations. The local and global scenes feel like heavy burdens to hold as we live our daily lives. How can we be a community of hope when, at times, hope is hard to find? How about finding a balance of faith and action to help us navigate?

Our families need relaxed, fun time together. We also feel responsible to be brave, change makers. Our children and youth are watching and learning, forming their own vision of what is important. Teaching them to share what they love is one way to transform gift giving. Teens could invite an elder to be together to listen to each other’s music. Children could take a parent on a walk to a favorite outdoor spot. Adults could regift a personal treasure to family members. When I focus on slowing down and being patient with myself, I do find sparks of hope laced with action.

From Soul Matters Sharing Circle: “Hope speaks soothing words about trusting and waiting, but it also takes the form of a holy impatience that declares, ‘Enough is enough.’ Hope reassures, but it also emboldens. It doesn’t just offer us a promise; it gives us a push.” So, maybe this is the time to share resources of time and money with causes we believe in. Maybe it is a good idea to write those letters to legislators, get trained to be a Sanctuary host at church, or visit an elder or friend who is waiting. And, we can also sing, meditate, dance, and rest!

In fact, we have an interactive, all ages, musical opportunity happening this month – the Joyful Noise Family Sing-Along is on Friday, December 8. More about this event is on page 7.

I couldn’t resist sharing this poem, Hope: An Owner’s Manual, by Barbara Kingsolver.

Look, you might as well know, this thing is going to take endless repair: rubber bands, crazy glue, tapioca, the square of the hypotenuse.
Nineteenth-century novels. Heartstrings, sunrise:
all of these are useful. Also, feathers.

To keep it humming, sometimes you have to stand
on an incline, where everything looks possible;
on the line you drew yourself. Or in
the grocery line, making faces at a toddler
secretly, over his mother’s shoulder.

You might have to pop the clutch and run
past all the evidence. Past everyone who is
laughing or praying for you. Definitely you don’t
want to go directly to jail, but still, here you go,
passing time, passing strange. Don’t pass this up.

In the worst of times, you will have to pass it off.
Park it and fly by the seat of your pants. With nothing
in the bank, you’ll still want to take the express.
Tiptoe past the dogs of the apocalypse that are sleeping
in the shade of your future. Pay at the window.
Pass your hope like a bad check.
You might still have just enough time. To make a deposit.

Whatever your brand of celebration might be, my wish is for you to feel warmth, love, wonder, and the hope and will to make peace.

Cathy Seggel, Director of Religious Education