I’ve decided to start a new trend. Since Martin Luther King Jr. Day and New Years Day happen in the same month, I’m combining them into a New Year’s Justice Resolution. I let go of the personal New Year’s resolutions years ago. I mean, Lent is right around the corner and 40 days of focused, personal discipline is about all I can handle anyway.
No, this year, I’m trying to notice that the “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” I read this and I think I understand it…but clearly my body and my heart has a hard time with the pace of the moral universe.
Over a decade ago now, I wrote a Statement on Ministry.
This was required of me as an ordination candidate within the United Church of Christ. I try to come back to it at least once a year, as a way of checking in on my faith journey. And there’s something about that justice quote that feels related to how I come back to my ministry statement each year and find myself perhaps just a little further on the journey, yet still so close to the words I wrote three homes, and cities, two children, four churches, one mother, and eleven years ago.
Ministry is every day, every hour, every person, every job.
Ministry hears the vibrations of love as a pedal point for action.
Ministry sees the kaleidoscope face of God reflected in every eye.
Ministry wants to be a positive, helpful service.
Ministry is joy, pain, bubbling laughter and heart-wrenching sobs.
Ministry pretends to be the same for every person, everywhere.
Ministry feels the small, gentle softness of a child’s hand.
Ministry touches shiver-making cobwebs and flinches, naturally, but continues forward.
Ministry worries about the disenfranchised, the marginalized and the powerless.
Ministry cries over the growing gaps that makes us feel alone and abandoned, between rich and poor, educated and uneducated, the socialized and the ostracized, the technology divide – but most of all – the widening gap between ourselves, our communities and God.
Ministry is children, worship, singles, parents, grandparents, laughter, babies, baptism, elders, joy, pain, sorrow, dancing, music, food, communion, sanctuary, coffee hour, office staff, volunteers, organization, friends, the making and practice of family.
Ministry understands that all people are born with an innate longing to belong and that all people belong to the family of God.
Ministry says that the power of loving is greater than the power of hating… but knows that loving is harder.
Ministry dreams a world of kindness, justice and peace; of ever flowering creativity, a world dancing to the rhythms of love.
Ministry tries not to get overwhelmed by trying to do everything at once, or nothing at all.
Ministry hopes that God’s work in the world is not a thing of historicity, but of our living time.
Ministry is our part in the ever-evolving creation of God’s world.