The Earth’s seasons would indicate that we are still in the time of equinox, just a week from the balance of light and dark as our Northern Hemisphere begins to tilt away from the sun on its way to the Solstice. Yet our human affairs have not gotten the memo. It has been inspiring to watch the amazing activism of young people - and especially young women - in pressing world leaders for meaningful action to slow climate change. At the same time, we’ve seen that important message and voice dwarfed by equally important - but far more frustrating - machinations of our US political system. Whether we’re debating whistleblowers or economic policy, acting for humane immigration policy or just trying to make sure our elections are fair, the world doesn’t feel anywhere near to balance. Each sign of hope seems to bring with it a raft of reminders of our proclivity for destruction.
The Jewish High Holy days begin Sunday evening with the observance of Rosh Hashanah, the New Year. The themes of repentance and return are the spiritual core of the High Holy Days feel especially needed for us all at this time in history. As urgent and fearsome as the troubles of the world, it is never too late for us to acknowledge our piece, to recommit to the path of goodness, to begin again.
As we gather this Sunday to celebrate the commitment to support this congregation, we’re making a resolution to turn toward the good that can be created here together - the good that has flowed through and beyond this community for centuries. As we enter into the rituals of the season, picking apples, raking leaves, getting out sweaters, and pulling out soup recipes, I pray that we might find those things that re-ground us in the balance of nature, the care of our spirits, the return and renewal that come from reminding ourselves that we belong to one another, and this Earth is our home.