Highland News Leader

Devotional: Want the world to change? It begins with you

We made it through the busy Christmas season and almost through New Year’s celebrations. What now?

For many of us it is back to reality — jobs, school, children, etc. However, before we allow reality to crash down upon us, I want to offer this question: Have we learned nothing from these last few weeks?

For instance, Christmas is a time of peace, laughter, and joy. Where is that now as we stare reality in the face? This time is about reflecting on the past and looking forward to a new year. Yet, despite the hope, reflection and anticipation we have a tendency to return to our default, which is the grind of another day.

I would suggest that we reset our default and recapture the feelings of hope, joy and anticipation. How?

Here are a few easy steps:

▪ Embrace hope. While I am speaking from a Christian perspective it is not an exclusive Christian idea. All faith denominations share the idea of hope. Our world is troubled. Some would say it is worse than it has ever been — just like our ancestors felt that their days were the worst. When we allow despair and exasperation of the violence to allow us to abandon hope, then evil has won. However, when we keep hope alive — evil can never win. You want to know how to change the world?

▪ Believe you can. Until you believe it, you cannot make it happen.

There are those who say, “All we need do is to trust in the Lord.”

I do not disagree with that. However, it falls short. We do indeed need to trust in the Lord — but we also must be willing to be God’s hands and feet. In other words, while it might be God’s will — God has and always will work in and through us. We do not get to lie around on the couch and wait for God to make things better. That is up to you and me.

I hope you will join me in trying to make the world a better place. It begins with us loving one another, celebrating our differences and being non-judgmental. It begins with sharing the love of God with everyone. It begins with you. It begins with me.

Merry Christmas and happy New Year!

Rev. Jerry Amiri, senior pastor

Salem UCC, Alhambra