What’s Good Today?
This past Monday was a gorgeous day, and I was able to get all the leaves cleaned out of my backyard just in time to make room for the next big batch that came down in all the rain we had the following day. Once that chore was done, my next “to do” item was a trip to the Nashua Library to return a couple of books and check out a couple more.
The fellow who checked out my books was a long-time acquaintance named Mark. He’d been involved in some of the activities at the Nashua UU Church during my ministry there, as well as various other community happenings of one kind or another that he and I were involved in. Mark and I see the world through similar social, cultural, and political lenses.
Once he’d scanned in my books, and just as I was about to leave, he asked me, “So, Steve, what’s good today?” I wasn’t quite ready for that one. It’s more of a question one asks a waiter in a restaurant than of a guy checking out library books. I even had to ask him to repeat it. He did. “What’s good today?”
I managed to get out something about enjoying the weather and was glad to get some yard work done and that was pretty much it. It wasn’t until I was walking to my car that I realized that my friend Mark had given me my homily theme and title for this Sunday. I take such gifts whenever and wherever I can get them.
What had gone flying right over my head—until I was leaving the library—was that Mark was offering me an antidote to the effects of the Presidential election. It’s works as well as any, and better than most I’ve been able to come up with. Think on it: “What’s good today?”
Perhaps you can share some of your answers during coffee hour. I’ll offer mine here.
For me, what’s good today is that I’m here; here with you in a setting with people whose values and principles I share. What’s good today is that I am called to keep faith with you, even as we—each and every one of us here—are called to keep faith with one another.
I doubt I was the only one, a week ago this past Wednesday, who wanted to crawl back into bed, put the covers over my head, and not come out for a few years. What’s good today, and in the recent days just gone by, is my knowing that I don’t have that option. What’s good today is my awareness of being re-called to ministry in some very crucial ways. And since ministry, in our particular tradition, is far from being the exclusive preserve of the professional clergy, then I’m hoping and trusting that you are experiencing a similar feeling of being re-called. If so, then that’s also what’s good about today.
What’s good today is knowing that we do not have the option of despair and resignation—however tempting such may be—when it comes to the life and well-being of our country, and for the protection and the safety of all of its inhabitants. What good today is our knowing that we have a vision and a commitment to our long held values, principles, and ethical mores to guide and sustain us in what will no doubt be trying and challenging times. Be thankful for that in this season of Thanksgiving.
On a more personal level, what’s good today is the joy I experience in playing with my two year old granddaughter, and the joy my wife I now share together in knowing that come summer we’ll be grandparents for a second time. What’s good today is my renewed energy to do my part to see to it that those grandkids of ours will live in a land that is their land—but one that is not only theirs. What’s good today is my renewed energy to see that they will live in a land that was truly made of all of us—in all of our rainbow diversity—and in which there truly is “liberty and justice for all.”
We are now moving towards sharing in a ritual will hopefully engender a similar spirit of renewal in each of us. It is not a spirit we embrace naively; but one we embrace with clear eyes and focused minds as we approach the days ahead.
What’s good today is that we’re all in this together. May we celebrate that in a true spirit of Thanksgiving.
November 20, 2016