As someone who recently moved and experienced my mother’s death, our December worship theme of “Letting Go” resonates strongly with both my outer and inner self. Reckoning with letting go is a lifelong spiritual task for all of us, because change is inevitable and yet holding on, too, is a human necessity. We are social creatures, made for communal life, made for love and relationship.
In this season of long nights and short days, can we slow down instead of speeding up? Can we choose not to throw ourselves into a frenzy as we try to create the perfect holiday? Can we sit in small groups, quietly, considering the flickering flame of a candle, grateful to be warm and fed and together? My social media feed tossed me the adage that the way to have the life you want is to want the life you have. Granted, it’s a lot easier to reframe your thinking that way if your basic needs are met, so it’s a privileged statement. But as our outer culture gears up to tell us that to have the life we want, we need only buy “Product Name,” it’s a good reminder that we shouldn’t surrender gratitude for greed on Black Friday. (Seriously, what would Jesus think?!)
What could you let go? What burdens are you carrying out of habit? What resentment or shame could you set down?
What is worth holding onto? What is worth your effort, your commitment, your time? As we ponder these things in our worship life this month, I hope you will also make time for prayer, reflection, and conversation with others about what matters, how we survive the letting go when it’s hard or unwelcome, how we make our choices and live our values. To make deliberate, faithful choices about holding on and letting go is spiritual work, sometimes really difficult spiritual work, and we do it better when we are intentional and when we are open to the wisdom of our individual and our shared experiences.
I am grateful to be on this path with you, and I wish you every blessing in your holding on, and in your letting go.