The calendar has been flipped. The days are now getting slowly longer. We are able to see a light ahead as the virus vaccines make their way across our country and world. Still, we take each day as it comes, protecting ourselves and others. It is not easy.

We might consider how long many of our country’s wars have been, the Civil War, WWs I and II; years came and went, battle after battle with high casualty counts month after month, year after year. Our ancestors, somehow kept faith, kept surviving as best they could even as they grieved the heavy losses.

When seasons of crisis come, the best among us come to the rescue. They have the capacity to set aside their own self-interests to come to the aid of a neighbor. As Fred Rodgers once said, “When disaster strikes look for the helpers.” Now, in our time we pray for leaders who build bridges, who bring us together, who enable us to see all that we share in common.

Theologian, Frederick Buechner, writes this, “The best moments we any of us have as human beings are those moments when for a little while it is possible to escape the squirrel-cage of being me into the landscape of being us.” (Wishful Thinking, 1973, Harper & Row, page 21) How true this is. During tough times the Lord God moves our reality from me to us.

Sometimes we take one step forward and two steps back in our venture to become truly human. But once the Lord God calls you and me, once the Lord has placed faith in our hearts, we begin to build rather than divide. We rise above narrow political agendas and narrow religious ideologies that separate us from each other.

The Lord bless us, the United States of America, as together we pilgrimage into God’s new future, into this new year of 2021.