“For each child that’s born a morning star rises and sings to the universe who we are.”
- Y. M. Barnwell, “WE ARE”
A star rises in hope and sings to the universe that with each child we have a chance to do better, to be better. For each candle we light there is starlight, the light of hope, the hope that we can illuminate our path, that we can brighten the future. This is no accidental imagery. These are images and metaphors that tie together generation after generation, that link us with each other. Generations have prayed that it will be better for their children, that their children will make a difference in the world. In the words of Ysaye Barnwell, “We are our grandmothers’ prayers. We are our grandfathers’ dreamings.” This is the time of the year when many faiths tell these timeless messages in story and song.
Countless traditions have these stories of optimism; the anticipation of a brighter day, the story of new life, of someone who rises to lead us forward to a place of peace and goodwill. For me, the point of these stories is not about “rightness” but instead about the underlying longing in the message. How can we love each other with all of our differences, how can we build a peaceful and sustainable world? Hope arises from our stories of birth–be it the birth of a child or the birth of the light. With the end of the season, with the unraveling of the ribbons from the presents and the trees, we revert to the familiar patterns of life that can leave our hope dormant. The breaking of these patterns takes courage–we must go beyond the borders of our comfort driven by faith in the power of love to transform injustice, ignorance, and fear.
How will you harness the transformative power of love in the New Year? Click here to find out how you, your congregation, and/or your community can get involved in the Thirty Days of Love, starting on January 19.
This year, our congregation will once again taking part in National Standing on the Side of Love Month. We will kick-off our celebration with a photo exhibit on immigration and speakers from nationally recognized immigrant justice organizations. We will provide readings and meditations for the congregation on love, compassion, and kindness. On four consecutive Sundays, we will present “Courageous Love Awards” to individuals in our congregation and the broader community who have demonstrated courage of faith and love in their actions, attitudes, and achievements. These are people who have seen new possibilities and have found ways to birth them into being. As we honor these award recipients for the work they have done, we will remind each other that we all carry this combination of hope, love, and possibility.
Please join us in participating in the Thirty Days of Love. Consider giving your own “Courageous Love Awards” in your community or congregation. Click here to learn more.
As you plan your own Thirty Days of Love, remember that “We are our grandmothers’ prayers. We are our grandfathers’ dreaming.” During the holidays and into the New Year, let us go beyond the borders of our comfort, let us have faith in what is possible, and let us never lose hope in the transforming power of love.
Rev. David A. Miller
Minister, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of San Dieguito in Solana Beach, California
Member, Standing on the Side of Love Creative Advisory Team
PS: Not a member of a congregation or relevant community group? Stay tuned for more opportunities to participate that are geared for individuals and families!
The message above went out on Wednesday, December 12, 2012 to Standing on the Side of Love supporters. You can sign-up for these emails here.