Eventually we come to know ourselves. Like a Unitarian Universalist faith, defined by values, but expressed in a multitude of ways, at our center are our personal principles. This is the person I will be, whatever the circumstances where I find myself.
Rev. Rick Hoyt-McDaniels
But we aren’t only forced to live out a destiny we inherit. We also shape ourselves. We choose. We respond. We explore our desires, imagine what could be, and walk in the direction of our health and happiness.
The Christian holiday of Epiphany (today) is the day Jesus became, or revealed (depending on your theology) who he really is. It’s a good opportunity to begin an exploration of identity. Who am I? Who are we? One important answer is that we are what our genes and culture formed us to be.
In the Christmas story, angels tell Joseph and later the Shepherds, “Do not be afraid.” Something wonderful but challenging is happening, the old order is disturbed. If we wish to change our lives or change the world around us we must accept risk, suffer uncertainty, and go to the place where “hopes and fears are met.”
Our Family service for Christmas Eve creates a living creche as the stable slowly fills with Jesus, Mary and Joseph, then Shepherds, Magi and animals. The crowded scene reminds us that symbolically all the world is gathered beneath that humble roof and invited to hold the baby.
Unitarian Christians regarded Jesus not as a supernatural savior, but as a role model of how an enlightened human person should take care of themselves and the world we share. As we end our study of leadership and prepare to celebrate Christmas we can ask, “How Would Jesus Lead?”
UUCLB presents a holiday “cabaret” featuring several acts on the theme of gift-giving. Our children’s Religious Education classes, the UUCLB choir, and others, share their gifts of talent, creativity, and fun.
Hanukkah, which begins this evening, is a story of conflict between two communities. Conflict within communities requires a different approach to resolution. We must learn not to use the tactics appropriate for one kind of conflict within the circumstances of the other. But the larger spiritual truth is that there only ever is one community and one path to peace.
Like an organization guided by a strong mission statement, a leader stays grounded in a set of core principles. Leadership is the ability to help a community stay true to the knowledge of who we are and where we’re going even as circumstances differ day by day.
One definition of power is, simply, “the ability to make change.” When old situations are changing, we need leaders to shepherd us through the change. When old situations need to change, we need visionary leaders able to get change started.