“Fast away the old year passes,
Fa la la la la, la la la la!”
I probably sound like a broken record, but 2022 has been another rough year!
Book banning, armed violence threating drag performances, the killing and injuring of patrons at a gay club, the constant litany of transgender persons murdered almost every week… And one of the only bright spots of the year, the signing of the Respect for Marriage Act into national law, only came about because a member of the Supreme Court suggested that the court should not stop at overturning federal protections for a woman’s right to an abortion, but that it should overturn its decision legalizing same-sex marriage as well!
Although there were (relative) bright spots—the world watched the dedication of Cherelle Griner as she fought to bring her wife, Brittney Griner, back home from captivity in Russia—this year saw legislative attacks at the state level on trans people, including attempts to criminalize the families and care givers that would dare to protect and support them.
And all across the land, Christian nationalist leaders are fighting hard to demonize LGBTQIA+ people and erase all mention of us from the public square, all while claiming it is their religious right to do so.
Lord, have mercy!
It would be easy to despair. Very easy. Just as the days grow consistently shorter and the nights longer as the Winter Solstice approaches, we feel the worry in our hearts that the days may never grow longer, and the sun may never shine as brightly again.
But yet it happens. In the midst of darkness, we find joy. Although it may not seem like it, the days have stopped getting shorter and are now lengthening so subtly we can’t even notice. The sun shines a little longer each day. Likewise, as Christians at Christmastide, we find hope in the fact that the Christ has come into this world, enfleshed like one of us. And though everything changed the moment of his birth, we may not notice the full impact of the divine event until we see its effects springing up in subtle places all around us.
Maintain hope. Change is coming. You may notice it in your heart and in your imagination well before you see it anywhere else. But the season of Epiphany is coming, the season when we will begin to notice those changes and exult in the new life which began as a promise just a week ago.
Wait. Hope. Hold on. And see.