It IS About Identity
(Posted January 21, 2021)
It really is all about IDENTITY.
I sincerely hope that all of us were watching Wednesday during the Inauguration to hear the Junior Poet Amanda Gorman, as she took us on a journey to determine who we are. She keenly understands that what has happened in recent years is an attempt by some to factionalize, to sever from their American heritage the rainbow rest of the people, and to crown the dividers as the sole “patriots” of America.
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Identity is a precious, important thing. That’s true for nations and for congregations. It is the keel that helps us pilot our ship toward where the dawn breaks for us tomorrow. Amanda references history, that it has its eyes on us. And here, in this historic First Church congregation, we have history, and history has us. This Sunday we look again at who we are and what we’ve meant to this town. As we chart our path through confusing, anxious times, we’ll see how change is not a thing to battle, but an opportunity. I’ve excerpted particular portions of We Climb This Hill for us.
“When day comes we ask ourselves,
where can we find light in this never-ending shade?...
“For while we have our eyes on the future
history has its eyes on us
This is the era of just redemption
We feared at its inception
We did not feel prepared to be the heirs
of such a terrifying hour
but within it we found the power
to author a new chapter
To offer hope and laughter to ourselves…
"So let us leave behind a country
better than the one we were left with
Every breath from my bronze-pounded chest,
we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one
We will rise from the gold-limbed hills of the west,
we will rise from the windswept northeast
where our forefathers first realized revolution
We will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the midwestern states,
we will rise from the sunbaked south
We will rebuild, reconcile and recover
and every known nook of our nation and
every corner called our country,
ur people diverse and beautiful will emerge,
battered and beautiful
When day comes we step out of the shade,
aflame and unafraid
The new dawn blooms as we free it
For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it…"