I did something I don’t do very often. I changed the focus of my sermon a week out. I might still talk about some of the things that I was initially talking about, however, I have come to be more compelled to talk about how it is that we navigate those two inevitable and undesirable things that happen in real life. This would include conflict with people that we love and care about and the way that things that we wish would stay the same inevitably change. This is the time of the year when the generous Spirit of this congregation becomes more and more clear. My hope for this year is not just about dollars, it is also about the generosity of spirit that says we stay in relationship with one another.
Staying in relationship does not mean that we get everything we want, but it does mean we do those things that keep the relationship healthy. Talking directly to one another, reminding ourselves that we can see each other as people rather than positions, engaging in following the direction of those that give their time in leadership come all of these are ways that we can engage together.
I continue to be impressed are the human tenacity of the human spirit and the ability to find a path of peace and sustenance even in hard circumstances. This picture, from Poston, Arizona where my father was incarcerated as a young child speaks to that spirit. Even in a place of great deprivation and despair, the residents took the time to put the small touches on the place more appealing.
Our own sense of who we are as a people can be a compass in these times.