Rev. Meredith Garmon
“Grant us the ability to find joy and strength, not in the strident call to arms,
But in stretching out our arms to grasp our fellow creatures in the striving for justice and truth.” (Traditional Jewish Prayer)
There are always sources of hope in our world. Let us attend!
We take hope from the recent peace treaty between the Colombian government and the FARC rebels. May peace prevail.
We take hope from President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping together signing documents committing their nations to the Paris climate change pact. It’s a small step, but a necessary one if we are really going to come to terms with climate change. May our beautiful planet flourish.
Brock Turner was released this week after just 3 months behind bars. We have been so saddened at the apparent acceptability of sexual assault committed by young men of privilege. Yet we take hope that his light sentence continues to fuel national conversation. May we as a people deepen in our determination that women's bodies and choices be respected.
We take hope from Georgetown University’s attention to its sale of slaves in 1838. The University apologized, is erecting a monument, is creating an institute for the study of slavery, and is offering preferential admissions treatment to descendants of the enslaved. We are hopeful Georgetown will go further and offer them full scholarships. May these steps be toward healing.
We take hope from a commercial airline flight this week that departed Ft Lauderdale and landed as scheduled in Cuba – the first such flight in over 50 years. May peace and good will among nations prevail.
We take hope from the President’s commutation this week of 111 more nonviolent federal inmates, part of a two-year effort to grant early release to inmates sentenced before Congress began shortening prison terms for non-violent drug crimes. Harsh sentences have done unnecessary violence, mostly to black families. May these steps be toward healing.
Finally, Holiness of Life and Love, we take strange hope from two new findings of science. In one finding, we might have found the oldest fossils ever discovered. Remnants found in Greenland could be from microbes that lived 3.7 billion years ago -- 200 million years before we had thought life began on Earth. In another finding, we might have found a planet in a “habitable zone” around our closest star, a bit more than 4 light years away. Whatever else this may signify, our horizons are still expanding. As we struggle with, and love, this life, it’s inspiring that we are a part of life that extends to so long ago – and so far away. The stretch of our arms to grasp our fellow creatures in the striving for justice and truth is an ever-widening stretch.