Quality of Hope: Rev Jill Carey 1/1/2022

Dear Friends,

If aliens studied the humans of Earth, I wonder what they’d think about us? (They probably already are!) Specifically, I wonder what they’d think about the quality of HOPE we possess. I wonder if they would find us foolish for picking ourselves up over and over again from circumstances that would seemingly defeat us. Of course, biologically our species is built to perpetuate itself. But psychologically, don’t we wonder some days??

I know this might not be the Happy New Year’s message you were expecting. I must say, in all honesty, it does not feel all that happy. I think we were okay with having one hijacked celebration last year, but we’d all hoped this year would be different. But not so much, not with all the closings and cautions that have recently accelerated.

HOPE can be a tricky thing. If we carry it as a child carries its wishes, we are certainly going to be disappointed. We are still learning that as this virus takes its twisting path. But if we let HOPE become a prayer, if we deepen it to an everlasting trust in divine perfection, then we have a perspective that is less influenced by life’s changeability.

It was never explicitly stated in biblical scripture that we should “be in the world but not of the world,” although Jesus and Paul implied it. It is nonetheless a reminder to us. We are existing IN the physical world that has a global virus, political strife, climate change, etc., that must be negotiated. But we also exist in the realm of Spirit that transcends the lasting effects of the world. This is where HOPE resides. We breathe deeply, dust ourselves off, face the next day one moment at a time, and turn our faces to the infinite presence, power, and protection of God. We embrace our uncertainty, grief, fatigue---and then surrender them. We humbly and with wise innocence carry HOPE with us.

Onward we go, my friends. Happy New Year.

With much love,

Rev. Jill