A Celebration of Spring and Renewal
“It’s time to start living the life you’ve imagined.”
– Henry James, Science and Spirituality, page 181
Traditionally, May Day has been a time of political action and demonstrations. It is our intention to change that emphasis to one of celebrating the spring and focusing on ethical and spiritual renewal. Surely that is what is needed most in our time of local-to-global challenges. It is an appropriate response to our national election as well as to the clashes in Syria, Iraq, and Iran. We need healing all the way from our personal lives to the planet as a whole.
It is our usual response to these urgent needs for renewal to think first of piecemeal solutions in education, politics, and/or family living. What is seldom discussed is the need for the coming together of the world’s faiths – ancient and modern – to help create a new context for living in this increasingly global age. We have yet to learn how to live in a unity-and-diversity world. This is the supreme challenge of our time.
In our election we are having to decide whether the U.S.A. is to build a wall to separate ourselves from our neighbors or to learn how to live together in peace and harmony. We are needing to decide between tearing each other down or making room for different life styles and convictions. In the world we are torn between sending drones from our country to another, often halfway around the globe, or building bridges of understanding that can bring an end to war.
Now is a good time to reflect on what is needed to bring about the renewal of life and the joyousness of respecting one another and the many forms of existence around us. Our decisions are all-important as we tread the path of building an authentic democracy for our country and the world at large.
Most of us are not aware of the evolution of this effort at the United Nations. For fifteen years the U.N. has had Millennium Goals to pursue internationally. This process came to its completion in the year 2015. Now the U.N. is focusing on Sustainable Development Goals for the next fifteen years, ending in 2030. There are seventeen of these goals, and they are very much like the quadrants and sectors of’ UDC’s Peace Wheel. It is through the Peace Wheel that we are proceeding to move toward a more unified planet in the years to come.
Perhaps these goals can best be summarized in Albert Schweitzer’s phrase “Reverence for Life”. Life is sacred, and we will be able to realize the promise of a global civilization as we treat ourselves and our fellow human beings and other forms for life in that way.
This is our central opportunity. May we pursue reverence for life more seriously and effectively with each day from this time on.
Spirit is One; paths are many!!!
by Rev. Leland Stewart