20131226-002810.jpg

Friends,
I’ve had so little time for this blog this year, but I do not want to leave the year without acknowledging and giving thanks to both individuals and organizations–many of whom I have “met” on Twitter–who dedicate themselves to seek the greater good, working tirelessly to make this world a better place for all.

Each of us takes our inspiration from a variety of sources: books, movies, mentors, teachers. Having been born with a religious bent, my own desire to leave the world a better place–the selfish benefits of doing good notwithstanding–find their source in the Christian story, which opening chapter much of the world re-tells, re-fashions and celebrates this time of year.

On a rare morning off from both my work as a chaplain of sorts or spending time with my grand-children I indulged in my favorite pastime–you guessed it–exploring the inter webs, and discovered this online exhibition of crèches from around the world. One of my favorites is the one above from the Czech Republic.

I love how this scene pulls in men and women of goodwill into the event. The artisan has placed Jesus at the head of the procession, and in doing so conveys the fundamental movement of my faith, that God is always coming toward us–in spite of evidence to the contrary. But Jesus is not alone, following him is a large procession. As people of faith, as those who believe in the fundamental goodness of creation, we are not only to be passive receptacles of his love, but are called to follow Him into the world with our own particular gifts harvested from our life, the gifts of the rich having no greater status than those of ordinary folk, but all joined in common purpose to create a world, as one preacher put it, “where everyone can find abundant evidence of God’s love.”

So my dear brothers and sisters, thank-you for all you do–providing affordable housing, preserving our watersheds, fighting for refugee rights, advocating for prison reform, working to preserve an open and affordable internet, exposing government lies…the list goes on. In spite of setbacks and discouragement, remember that the good will prevail, a more just, equitable and peaceable world will sprout from the seeds of justice, truth and love you scatter in the fields each day.