Inspiration

Sometimes we need some encouraging words to remind us to look up again at the horizon.

 

 
Tell the truth, have you ever found God in a church?  I never did. I just found a bunch of folks hoping for himto show. Any God I ever felt in church I brought in with me. And I think all the other folks did too. They come to church to share God, not find God.  — Alice Walker, from The Color Purple
  • We invite diversity into our community not because it is politically correct but because diverse viewpoints are demanded by the manifold mysteries of great things.

  • We embrace ambiguity not because we are confused or indecisive but because we understand the inadequacy of our concepts to embrace the vastness of great things.

  • We welcome creative conflict not because we are angry or hostile but because conflict is required to correct our biases and prejudices about the nature of great things.

  • We practice honesty not only because we owe it to one another but because to lie about what we have seen would be to betray the truth of great things.

  • We experience humility not because we have fought and lost but because humility is the only lens through which great things can be seen — and once we have seen them, humility is the only posture possible.

  • We become free men and women through education not because we have privileged information but because tyranny in any form can be over come only by invoking the grace of great things.

The Courage to Teach, Parker LP Palmer

We Unitarian Universalists often wryly note that we don’t offer salvation.  But maybe we do, in this transformation of life that happens when you and navigate that shift from approaching every day asking, “what can I get”into wondering “what can I give?”  You might even deem it true magic.

Rev. Margaret Keip, Skinner House Books:  Evensong, Volume 2

 

“Song of the Angels”

by Howard Thurman

When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and princes are home, and
When the shepherds are back with their flocks,
The work of Christmas begins:To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among people,
To make music in the heart. 

“A Christmas Oratorio”

by W. H. Auden

Well, so that’s that. Now we must dismantle the tree, 
Putting decorations back in their cardboard boxes–
some have gotten broken– and carry them back to the attic. 
There are enough leftovers to do, warmed up, for the rest of the week–
Not that we have much appetite, having drunk a lot, 
Stayed up late, attempted-quite unsuccessfully–
To love all our relatives, and in general 
Grossly overestimated our powers to do so. 
The Christmas feast is already a fading memory.

Once again, as in previous years, we have seen the actual vision
and failed to do more than entertain it as an agreeable possibility.                     

But, for the time being, here we all are. 
Back in the modern Aristotelian city, 
Where Euclid’s geometry and Newton’s mechanics would account for our experience, 
And the kitchen table exists because I scrub it.

To those of have seen the Child, however dimly, however incredulously, 
The time being is, in a sense the most trying time of all. 
Remembering the stable, where for once in our lives, 
Everything became a You, and nothing was an It.                    

In the mean time, 
There are bills to be paid, machines to keep in repair,
Irregular verbs to learn, the Time Being to redeem from insignificance.                     

The happy morning is over
The night of agony is still to come. The time is noon. 
When the spirit must practice his scales of rejoicing
Without even a hostile audience.