new year

Turning to the New Year – by Paul Raushenbush

The turning of a new year is as good of a time as any to be thankful, to kick up and dig in your heels, to celebrate freedom, to remember the ongoing struggle, to laugh and dance and get high in whatever way feels right and joyful to you and to love, love, love.

It is a good time to mourn as we lost many beloved people this year, some close to us, many more who were close to those whom we know not, yet we grieve all those who died from hunger, war, or hate. We take time to recognize our loss, and recommit ourselves to life, and to live so that those who are gone might live on with us.

The turning of the new year is a good of time as any to celebrate the many were born this year including our own son Glenn and we pray that they might have a world to live healthy, and play heartily and grow old gracefully in a world that does not combust because of human destruction, of the planet and one another.

The turning of the new year is as good of a time as any to remember the artists, poets, shamans, pastors, rabbis, gurus, imams, painters, dancers, authors, anyone who spoke, wrote, performed, danced, acted and proclaimed a true word, something that transformed us and the world around us, expanding our understanding of what it means to be human.

It is as good of a time as any time to remind ourselves of the price that was paid by all those who spoke up, kneeled down, refused to be silent, or refused to play along. It’s a good time to consider how we might all share in the struggle of the other, finding power in their story, grace where we all fall short, comfort on a surprising shoulder, strength in the most strenuous spiritual practice of solidarity.

The turning of a new year is a good of a time as any to think back to our ancestors, known and unknown who have walked this path before us, who lived, laughed, had sex, cried in pain, found salvation in so many places and whose exhales we are breathing in today, even as we exhale for those who will come after us as we ring in this new year – 2019, and open ourselves to the mystery, and possibility and fabulous future that is to come in the seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, life, death, life after death that is surely coming.

Paul Brandeis Raushenbush

Paul Raushenbush is Senior Vice President of Auburn Seminary, former Executive Editor Of Global Spirituality and Religion at HuffPost, and
former Associate Dean of Religious Life and the Chapel at Princeton University.

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