I’ve chosen to speak about climate change this coming Sunday. Less than 2 weeks ago, we saw the decimation that a monstrous category 5 hurricane can cause. In the face of such a disaster, and with predictions of worse to come, it is hard not to feel overwhelmed and despondent.
Recently, a friend of mine wrote in his blog about his experience in riding the Swamp Rabbit trail for the first time and how he noticed that many people were wearing helmets, but many others were not. He asked someone about this, “Do you really need a helmet for biking?” “Only if you fall!” was the response.
Many brilliant people argue that religion is outmoded and detrimental and should be a thing of the past. Perhaps, and certainly I believe there are religious practitioners out of sync with humanity’s current needs for unity and shared purpose. Religious communities, however, groups of people who strive to be in service to one another and the world, who seek to share and discover what is most sacred and important in life together, and where people cultivate live, in-person relationships, are desperately needed.
Many times I have been approached by an “unchurched” family wishing a memorial service for a loved one and I have ached for them, noting the loneliness and strain, which, were they members of a community of faith, might be at least a little relieved. There are many reasons to be part of a faith community, including sharing life in all its glory. When we are sailing along, such community may seem like just something else we have to do, more clutter in our calendar, and it can be tempting to say it doesn’t matter whether we are there or not. However, just like wearing a bike helmet, if we fall, our community can cushion us. If we are overwhelmed and despondent, our participation and belonging will help us to recover more quickly, and ultimately, help us get back on the bike.
And if that proves to be impossible, we know we won’t have to walk the bike alone.
Rev. Sally Beth Shore