To Hold and Make History Holy

from Rev. Sandra’s Study

The prophetic tasks of the church are to tell the truth in a society that lives in an illusion, grieve in a society that practices denial, and express hope in a society that lives in despair.

Walter Brueggemann

November marks a turning – a seasonal turning, a liturgical turning, and an emotional one. The days grow shorter, nights longer. We anticipate the family-oriented celebrations at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. How will we make the turn this year? How will we tell the truth? How will we begin the process of holding the history of our traditions with the many changes we are undergoing?

This month, several services and rituals vital to our church community will support us in navigating these questions. At the beginning of the month, Dia de Los Muertos offers us a time to, as Walter Brueggemann writes, “grieve in a society that practices denial.” Actually though, we do something even more countercultural. We learn from the Mexican tradition how we might approach death less grimly and with more of a spirit of joy.

Later in the month, we gather in our church community to express gratitude and to reflect on what it means to be thankful – even amid suffering. We also have the opportunity to come together on the eve of Thanksgiving with the interfaith community to worship, learn, and be in community.

And on the last Sunday in November, we, as Brueggemann writes, “express hope in a society that lives in despair” by lighting the first candle of Advent. I look forward to seeing you in person and virtually for these many opportunities for us to hold and make history holy.

Yours in love, Rev. Sandra

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