Open Doors Spiritual Matters: This is the season to care for others and call for change

This is the season to care for each other, writes Rev. Greg Daly of Beach United Church.


Anticipation…it’s making me wait.

In 1979 Heinz created a message that still rattles around in the heads of Gen X’ers and Baby Boomers alike, calling us all to wait for the good things to come.

Ketchup aside, we are once again in a time of waiting. Our yearly journey into winter, and the longest night of the year is our annual reminder that change is ever-present in our lives and that it sometimes comes with anticipation. Multiple faith traditions celebrate this moment in the calendar – Zoroastrian, Muslim, Jewish, Christian, and Hindu. Each tradition approaches the conversation with unique understandings and celebrations, however there is a common theme: with each ending, comes a new beginning.

Regardless of the hustle and bustle that many of us inhabit during this time, we are being invited to welcome something new. We are called to live in the darkness of the moment anticipating the emergence of newness on the other side.

Sharing stories of transformation that acknowledge where we have come from, allow us to live fully in our current experience, and advance hope for new things, offering a powerful path for everyone to follow.

This is a season to care for each other as we reach out to support folks on the margins. While it is important that we respond to people’s immediate needs, it is essential that we take that a step further and do the demanding work of changing systems and structures that create the need in the first place.

Please support your local food bank AND ask why it needs to exist. Please support local shelters AND ask what we can do to help build more affordable housing in our communities. This support is necessary because our social safety net has broken down and there is little political will to introduce something different.

This is a season to care for creation as our world groans and cries under the burden of our exploitation. It is essential that we ask whether we really do need that new (…insert whatever you last went to the store to buy here) and be imaginative in our response to climate change. Please consider the choices you make daily AND ask what we can do to reduce our dependance on fossil fuels. The people we share gifts with, the loved ones in our lives, deserve nothing less.

As the days get shorter and we approach this ending moment, we anticipate a new beginning: a time of hope, peace, joy, and love – not just for ourselves or for family and friends, but also for our community and for our world.

Unlike ketchup, we do not have to wait. We can begin now, in this moment, to start the work.

Anticipation aside, there are things we can do right now. We can hope for change, we can offer peace, we can live with joy, and we can share love.

May this season offer us time to reflect, and in doing so, emerge boldly and confidently in the warmer, longer days already doing the important work of change.

May all of us hold onto that message and be part of the good things to come!

Happy Holidays!

Rev. Greg Daly is the minister of Beach United Church on Wineva Avenue.

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