Hi. My Name is Kwame….And I am Grieving

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Ever emerge from the beauty of the hearth

only to be immersed in a fog that although transparent

clings to your very being

and even as the sun breaks and splashes down around you

the wisps of this fragile fog still remains,

wrapped beneath your hair?

This is what perhaps I have been experiencing these past few weeks and not realizing what it was

Grief

In the chaos of papers, projects and leaping through that final hoop of Approval

I’d come home and binge watch DramaFever and Anime on Hulu

I would retreat to the sanctity of our room

I was exhausted trying to get everything done

Some days not wanting to do much of anything, thinking I was just taking a rare lazy day

Grief

Funny how we, as seminarians and clergy experience this

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Grief

There was so much chaos and suffering going on outside my window

People who were robbed of their loved ones in unjust ways

People robbed of their basic human rights

People,

robbed of the one bright warmth who would open her arms and love us unconditionally

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Dear Grief,

You are unwanted

You are unwelcomed

I choose to walk in the beauty of life eternal

and the warmness of her shadow, which always reflects her love for me.

Lape Bondye

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The Beginning

Grace and Peace to you

My brothers and sisters in Christ

As we lean on the transforming power of God, Our Creator

To guide us through life’s journey

Into another Year

Leaning on the everlasting arms

Of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ

Amen.

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Another year has crested over the horizon

Into the comfort of our reality

And still the bittersweet remnants of the year’s past

Remain as a reminder

There is still work to be done.

Throughout social media

And through conversation

There is this cry of New Year, New Me

As if somewhere, somehow

The difficulties of the past

Were somehow laid at our feet

Weighing on our shoulders

And so we go through the ritual of resolution

Instead of immersing our very selves into the restorative, renewing authority of God, the Most High

The question should not be centered on perfection

But

How can our lives as people of faith be transformed

Through the presence of the Holy Spirit

How can we as sisters and brothers revolutionize this place

This community

Right here and now

With the active power of the Gospel?

The Gospel is not an abstract thought!

The Gospel is concretely planted, rooted into Creation

That we are able to connect to

Stepping out

Meeting skin to soil,

Touching the blessing from God

Where things grow, things are birthed

That Creation gives back to Creation

The interconnectedness and the promise that God gives us

and never leaves us

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

What Good News!

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(pause)

Every beginning of a new year

Humanity, as a whole

Find ourselves overrun with lists

Suggestions

Resolutions

That if we only adhered to them

Our lives and our journeys would be chaos free

(pause)

But even before these tangible, human-created ideals

Should be the understanding that

All things came into being through Him, and without Him not one being came into being”

There is our reasoning for rejoicing!

For within every year

With the turning of the season

Throughout every obstacle

And in the midst of every challenge

Our very being should rest in the knowledge

That the presence of Christ pierces the darkness

That the darkness does not have dominion

That the darkness just doesn’t get it!

We have been signed with the seal of the Cross and delivered-

Beloved, as God’s People

The-Cross

 

(pause)

So, as God’s People

There is a significant responsibility that never changes

Even as our own journey through this life

Ebbs and flows

A responsibility to open up the minds of those around us

A responsibility to instill the Good News of Jesus Christ

in those surrounding us

A responsibility to shift the atmosphere away

From the negativity, the selfishness in this world

Of living juxtapose to those imposing forces

Which threaten not only our livelihood

But to those who are struggling

Right here where we have the ability to encounter injustice

Out there where perhaps we cannot touch our neighbor

But we clearly see the reflection of Christ in their faces

And hear God’s calling embedded in their voices

The-Beginning

(pause)

He was in the world, and the world came into being through Him; yet the world did not know Him”

How this world forgets that they live and breathe and exist solely-

Of what the Creator God infused this world with

Christ came among us,

All of us

Let me be clear

Those that are both the familiar and unfamiliar

Those who we have a misconception that they are different from us

But whose struggles are similar

Whose lamenting seemingly melds into one voice

Pleading

Praying

For God’s Mercy and Grace

Jesus Christ came among us, so that our bond

Our connection to God

Would be eternally unbroken

(pause)

He came to what was His own, and His own people did not accept Him.”

(pause)

How quickly we as people of God forget

And have forgotten

That we are followers of Christ

Perhaps these ancient people of John’s time

Could not fathom

That this teacher, this rabbi

Broke the chains of inequality

Of despondency

Of anxiety

Transforming those considered as the lowly

Into new life

Whether they followed Him or not

(pause)

Perhaps after hearing the Gospel

We, as people of faith find ourselves

still not having an understanding

That this Son of God, this Jesus

This unexpected, mysterious but Blessed Savior in our lives

Breaks the chains of oppression

Of suffering

Of misery

Welcoming us at the Table, meeting us as we are

Because God sees past our limitations

And the limitations that human beings place on one another

As excuses for not being in relationship

Simply because we are not wealthy enough

Not educated with the right degree

Born in the wrong shade of skin tone

Expressing through the wrong type language and speech

Or lack thereof, therefore we lack intelligence

Clinging to the wrong traditions

Loving the wrong people

Holding the those people in positions of privilege and power

accountable on the carpet

For those laws, those regulations, those policies

That only affected

In their eyes

Those outcasts considered to be nothing more than throwaways-

Us, beloved

All of us and our own sisters and brothers in Christ and in Faith

(pause)

But to all who received Him, who believed in His name, He gave power to become children of God”

Here is the Good News!

The Good News is that Jesus Christ was born

Lived

Taught

Sacrificed

Died

Not just simply for the saving of our sinful souls

But

Jesus Christ, Our Savior

Lived

Died

Resurrected

LIVES

As a reminder that WE are God’s beloved and wonderful Creation!!

“And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen His glory”

We are beloved of God because it is GOD who has cradled us in this life

It is through GOD we are marked by the sign of the Cross

A sign of foolishness for some

For us-we know

God is NOT DEAD

He LIVES

In every sunrise

In every turn of the season

In every turning of a new year

(pause)

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So, what about that New Year’s resolution?

Are you resolved to improve your self worth

Or

Are you willing to give of yourself selflessly, freely

Sharing of your testimony, your witness

Actively living out your calling

Because regardless of our beginnings

Before us, always

Is God.

Thanks Be To God.