With a New Year comes a heightened awareness of “newness” and of hope. In these days of change and uncertainty, in a world that seems to be filled with discord, violence, and the inability to tone down the rhetoric, let us remember that hope remains; it is a hope that “does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.” (Romans 5:5)
Embracing this hope that is ours through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, we partner with God in God’s acts of “new creation.” As we remember the life and ministry of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., hear once again his encouraging words, and live into the challenge: “Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding a deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only love can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
Bishop Gregory Palmer (Resident Bishop of the West Ohio Conference) wrote a few months ago, “I refuse to believe that we are hopeless or abandoned. But failure to act courageously will only reinforce the perception that we are. We must act now:
- To change every conversation until it bends us and the world to not only acknowledging a shared humanity but embracing it;
- To remove the scales from our eyes that hinder our seeing the connections between race, religion, poverty and violence;
- To change legislative conversations so that we get common sense solutions, to change our vocabulary, not merely tone down our rhetoric.
God is calling us into a life of “new creation” as we begin a New Year. Let us embrace God’s leading; empowered by the Spirit of our living God let us love, as Christ Jesus, our Lord, has loved us. See you in Church!