Today I’m writing from Orlando, FL, where the National Religious Leadership Roundtable is connecting with local clergy post-election and post-Pulse.
Naomi Leapheart, the Task Force’s Faith Work organizer, opened tonight’s meeting with a challenging reflection on the Christian liturgical season of Advent. I hope she publishes her remarks!
At the heart of her challenge to us was the idea that we can fill our hope for future deliverance with work that manifests that deliverance in this world. As Naomi spoke, I remembered the metaphor of pregnancy and labor used in both the gospels and the Pauline epistles: there’s an effort that accompanies the emergence of the new world, and it’s an effort that we get to participate in.
If I were planning it all out, I’d love to be among those who do the work and those who enjoy the results of the work. I’m sure most people would too. But at this stage, only the preparatory work is certain and none of us is guaranteed a taste of the fruits from the trees we’re planting.
My favorite people right now are people who are also motivated to do more than wait and to be more than bystanders. What is coming will come, and we also have responsibilities to stay actively engaged, to draw the best potentials from imagination into time, to replace inertia with intention and action.
Waiting by working: that’s how faithful expectancy transcends excuses for stagnating and opens the way for progress. Progress, as King once said, “comes through the tireless efforts and the persistent work of dedicated individuals who are willing to be co-workers with God. Without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the primitive forces of social stagnation. So it is necessary to help time and to realize that the time is always ripe to do right.”