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First Things December 2013

December 6, 2013

The December holidays give us great stories.  We can use these stories as inspiration for our spiritual lives, and to reflect on the role of First Church in the life of our neighborhood.

The holidays start with Thanksgiving.  What are you grateful for?  What does our faith require that we do with our gifts?

Hanukkah tells the story of people fighting to preserve their culture under an oppressive government.  Is your faith worth “fighting” for?  What elements of our US government and contemporary US culture should our church stand against?

The feast day of the Virgin of Guadalupe is December 12.  Juan Diego’s vision helped a poor man from a conquered people find personal honor and respect.  Mary herself is an emblem of a person who had no cultural power because of her sex, her unmarried status, and her poverty, but found an internal power that led her to greatness.

The birth story of Jesus is also a story of greatness arising from the most humble of circumstances.  And Jesus’ message later in life is a constant warning of the ways that material wealth and cultural power tempt people away from the divine principles of peace, love, and justice.

The winter solstice is a symbol of light emerging from darkness – the way that joy and new hope can emerge from desperate times.

The genius of the Unitarian Universalist religion is that we recognize the spiritual insights available in all the religious traditions.  You don’t need to be a Christian, a Jew, or anything other than a spiritually aware person to draw your own wisdom from these rich sources.  Happy holidays.

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