Warm Sun and New Possibilities

Sun through winter trees
Sun shines behind dense winter trees. Image licensed from Envato Elements.

Faith helps us recognize the possibility of a different future.


These extraordinary days are worth noting, not just for the record-breaking warmth. Have you noticed a shift in yourself or your neighbors? Do you feel more hopeful or more connected? Or less gloomy?

While out walking Morgan in recent days, I’ve noticed a few things. First, we walk quicker without ice requiring boots and cleats. Also, when it was the more typical cold of Minnesota January, we encountered very few people while out walking and those people would hurry on by. Not so when the sun is shining.

Yesterday, the streets were full of the sound of children laughing and playing. Some were playing ball in the streets, others were riding tricycles up and down their driveways, and others could be heard playing games in their backyards.

Adults also added to the sounds. They happily greeted one another while walking their dogs or pushing strollers. They leaned in car windows to chat with friends who were leaving and chatted while carrying in groceries. The silence of the cold was gone.

While we can all be grateful for bright, sunny days in winter, it’s also hard not to be concerned. These warm days bring the reality of climate change and global warming right to our doors. Who isn’t worried about the future of our planet with the abnormal warmth of these days?

Joy and worry sit side-by-side in our bodyminds. This is familiar, isn’t it? We carry such a mix of emotions at any given time, don’t we? Joy in the sun and worry for the future. Gratitude in connecting with our neighbors and concerns over the increase in sickness around us. Hopeful about some political changes and fearful for what might come in November.

Many people have asked recently how to navigate a world that is filled with so much to be concerned about. The reality is that it isn’t easy. However, faith helps us find hope. Faith helps us recognize the possibility of a different future, a future filled with hope and good things, to paraphrase the Prophet Jeremiah.

It isn’t that God will fix what we humans have broken. It is more that when we seek the ways of Love, we will be able to repair the damage that fear, hatred, and violence have done. Seeking Divine Love in ourselves and our neighbors changes us and changes the way we respond to the world around us.

We become the hope that is needed. Not any one of us, but all of us together. Together we embody Christ. Together we bring Divine Love into the world. Together we are able to carry despair and imagine a future of wholeness for all. If we can imagine a different future, then it becomes much more likely.

Take a moment to enjoy the bright warmth of the sun and to bask in gratitude. Then do something kind for yourself, your neighbors, or the planet. We are in this together, and together we are the hope for a new future.

About Rachael Keefe

Rev. Dr. Rachael Keefe is the pastor of Living Table United Church of Christ. She was called to Living Table in 2015 after serving in many varied ministry settings since her ordination in 1992. She holds graduate degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary and Andover Newton Seminary at Yale (formerly Andover Newton Theological School). Her ministry and leadership often center around advocacy and accessibility. Her writing has been published by Chalice Press, The Christian Century, Red Letter Christians, Working Preacher, RevGalBlogPals, and others. She is grateful to be in ministry with Living Table today.

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6 thoughts on “Warm Sun and New Possibilities”

  1. Much appreciation for your reflections here, Rachael. In dealing with my own waning hope for humanity, it’s good to be reminded that no one off us is in this alone. And certainly, humans have risen to some major challenges before. I feel like a little candle of hope has been rekindled here, and that when I think about Living Table, and New Branches, and all the remarkable things we are doing–there it is!–Hope.

    • Barb, it’s true that despair can weigh heavily enough that we do not experience joy at times. You are in one of those times. But you are not alone. The community will hold hope and joy for you until you are able to hold it once more.


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