Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,
In this time of anticipation, Howard Thurman reminds us that “Christmas is waiting to be born.” (Read Thurman’s poem.)
The reign of the Prince of Peace is not constrained by national border, ethnic origin or any other distinction we may make. God’s concern is with each and every part – along with the whole. God’s heart is filled by the desire for peace and the longing for justice. And Jesus offers indisputable testimony to the possibility that each of us – and all of us together – can live this out.
Now God’s eternal longing joins the groans of creation and the desire of all peoples for a new beginning, a revelation, to be born among all wise men and women, whether in Copenhagen or in each of our 390 churches. Our future rests in your/their leadership.
- Each of us knows how to respond to our neighbors in need, and we often do.
- As a nation, we know what it means to be a city on a hill, to be a light to all nations, and we sometimes are.
- As a world community, we have barely woken up to our interdependence, and to the consequences of our choices that will endure for generation upon generation.
In the birth of the Christ child, we recognize that we too can be reborn; that our lives can be repurposed; that in the coming weeks and months we can adopt new spiritual practices and behaviors that our grandchildren will applaud. There is no shortage of available solutions for us to embrace.
As people of God in this unprecedented time, may we do all we can to allow Christmas to be born.
The Rev. Dr. Jim Antal,
Conference Minister and President
Want to “act locally” in an important way? Speak up for the forests of Massachusetts which are being clear cut. Nobel Peace Prize winner and Harvard Professor Eric Chivian recently alerted me to this incomprehensible use of our state funds. Mass. Conference Environmental Task Force member Beth Adams works on this and related biomass/biomess issues and suggests this site: www.maforests.org which includes photos and suggested responses.
Jim Antal is a denominational leader, activist and public theologian. He led the 360 churches of the Massachusetts Conference United Church of Christ from 2006 to his retirement in 2018. An environmental activist from the first Earth Day in 1970, ...