One of the greatest calamities to hit our communities throughout Baltimore and the surrounding communities is this whole since of hopelessness steeped in depression. Depression appears to have no particular address nor is it a respecter of persons. Moreover, hopelessness has crept into the crevices and corridors of our faith communities. Yes, feelings of hopelessness are real and for those with true diagnoses of any form of depression, one should stay on their meds, seek pastoral and/or professional counseling – staying completely committed to healing and recovery.
I am reading a book for the Lenten season Giving Up Something Bad for Lent, by James Moore. It basically talks about giving up those things that we desire not to return to, even after Lent. I am reading a chapter entitled ”Give up running away.” I really enjoyed this chapter as it spoke volumes to my inner-being, causing me to do some self-actualizing. It reminds me of the narrative found in the Gospel according to Luke 9:10-17 (read it), where we embark on the story of a younger son entreating his father for his inheritance early, leaving home only to have squandered it all on the strip (night life), women of the hour and alcohol. Meanwhile, after losing it all, he became homeless, full of guilt and shame for all he had done. Having to dine with the pigs, he chose to go back home and seek forgiveness. His father welcomed him back with open arms, put the best clothes on him, with the best meal and a nice piece of jewelry. The older son gets angry and indignant to the point of being belligerent, reminding his father all he has done for him and his family.
Some time ago, I wrote an article, “Building a Community for Radical Inclusion.” This issue comes down to what it means to gain access to society, public or private. I often consider my unique individuality – the nature of my being. For myself, there are disparities between who I believe I am and who God says I am. I believe God as it relates to my inner-being, moral fiber, and sense of agency that “I am the head and not the tail, above and not beneath” (Deuteronomy 28:13) and that I am “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14), and that God does not make junk. I realize that my distinctiveness makes up who I am and personifies all communities to which I am divinely connected or appointed without any form of inequality. Discrimination in all forms has kept many of us from the company of our fellow human beings. In some aspects, we reside both mentally and physically in communities that perpetually keep us at the edge of society and its margins.
OMG, it’s 2016! What are you doing with your life? How are you fulfilling your destiny? Are you living or simply existing? Are you living life on purpose? Some time ago, I made a promise to myself that I would not make any more New Year’s resolutions. Reason being, I don’t keep them and I realize all I was doing was setting myself up for perpetual failure. For me, it was better for my inner self to actualize my current situation and began to benchmark my steps towards living my best life with my best self. Too often we focus on achieving goals that are attainable but we have a hard time getting there because our heart has not caught up with our behaviors. We have great intentions, however wrong motives. The Word of God reminds us that if we are going to truly achieve greatness for ourselves, we need to “Break with the past and reach towards the mark.”
The Church of the Advent is a welcoming and inclusive Episcopal Church in the Anglo-Catholic tradition, serving Federal Hill, South Baltimore, and beyond. We are an oasis of prayer in the heart of the city, and worship is central to our life and mission. Everyone is welcome to join us as we strive to grow to maturity as Christ’s body in the world.
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