Every new year brings with it possibilities of hope and promise. Every new year the world turns. How it will turn is largely up to the good work we choose to do, or, conversely, neglect to do.
After eight miserable years of being bullied by our government, many are looking forward to the return of diplomacy in international relations, to civility in domestic politics, to respect for Constitutional law, to compassion in our economic policies. Many have enormous expectations that we are being given an opportunity to begin again as a nation. Indeed, the malfeasance of the Bush administration has clearly demonstrated that their values bring only death and destruction. Their cruelty and incompetence has given birth to a renewed desire to walk a different path, to live for a better hope. As we enter this new year many feel that a new world is really, truly, possible.
But, of course, realizing the possibilities takes hard work, and much courage. The Democrats, although far less fascist than the Republican Party, are still, nevertheless, lackeys that carry Wall Street's water. Although they do not deserve our trust we, nevertheless, must continue to work within to reform the values of the party. The bottom line reads that until the Democrats take up, with vigor, creativity and passion, the cause of worker unionization we are stuck with a corporation party that simply uses us, then abuses us. Until the Democrats embody in their policies a commitment to earth care, all we really have is a facade of change.
Despite Obama's lofty rhetoric, he will be under intense pressure to serve the same financial and military interests as the Bush administration. If, and that is a mighty big if, we are to rebuild our country it will be "we the people" who give backbone to the political parties to legislate the morality we seek for our nation.
We the people come in all shapes and sizes with many gifts, abilities and talents. Each of us doing our best in our own work for justice and reconciliation is the greatest New Year's resolution we can make. For me, doing my best work means continuing to love my wife faithfully, guide my children respectfully, care for my neighbor in need, and recognize in the face of the other a friend, not a foe. As a preacher my best work will be to continue to build authentic community, to warn against building empire, to promote care of the earth. It will mean continuing to do my own inner work so that my outer work for justice is truly revolutionary and therefore a birthplace of hope.
This New Year, we are being given an opportunity to turn the world. It is my hope that each of us doing good work will turn the world with wisdom, and turn it toward affection and care.