You may have heard about the letter by this title that I have written as an open letter to all Canadians, to be read in pulpits across the United Church this Sunday (January 17th) and personally delivered to the Governor General, the Prime Minister, and other party leaders on Jan. 18th. Others, including all parliamentarians, will also receive it. I will read my letter from the pulpit of Sydenham Street United Church in Brantford, Ontario, as 10 former Moderators present it in communities where they are worshipping the same day. Dozens more of you will also be reading the letter from your pulpits on Sunday or later.
My hope is that, where possible, this letter will be seamlessly woven within Sunday’s liturgy. In the letter I am addressing all Canadians and therefore speak in mostly secular terms. However, the resources of our faith add deep dimension. Praying with the lectionary passages this week has brought me profound assurance of “how God’s abundance and extravagance bring life” (to quote the Seasons of the Spirit lectionary resources for January 17th).
Such rich scriptural resources make it possible to turn from lament to hope. In John’s account of Jesus turning water into wine (Jn 2:1–11), we are reminded of the transformative power of God’s love made known to us in Christ. The psalmist (Ps 36:5–10) reminds us that God’s love extends to all of creation. And in Corinthians (1 Cor 12:1–11) we are invited to recognize the abundance of gifts available by which to experience and amplify such love—as long as we have the sense to choose community and share our many abilities through the one Spirit. As my letter suggests, when abundant love, talents, and insights are shared in community, we know the transformative love of God. It will seem miraculous—and God will rejoice! (Isa 62:1–5)
And our own souls, our community, and all of creation will rejoice as well!
How is “water being turned into wine” by God’s transformative power within your soul and community?