My Hope for the Year to Come

Good afternoon from Westminster, MD!

Today happens to be my birthday. As I considered what to write a thought came to mind- what would I want to be able to write about on this day next year? What do I hope has changed or happened by September 30th, 2021? Well, here I go.

Over the next I hope the world becomes a little more hope-filled. This year, 2020, has been full of pain and brokenness. On the surface 2020 appears to be a recipe for hopelessness and despair, but I believe it can be the starting point for something new. It is often when we find the bottom that we discover how to climb to new heights. Real hope has the power to change the world. When people realize their God-given potential and have the opportunity the exercise it everything can change. May hope abound and the world change over the next year.

Over the next year I hope we move closer to true Racial Reconciliation. In some ways it feels like we are miles apart as it stands today. However, there are other signs of true movement towards a world in which everyone is treated as equal creations of a Creator who loves each of us equally. We should not assume saying Black Lives Matter means anyone else’s life matters any less. True healing starts with recognizing how someone has been harmed and a willingness to do what is necessary to right the wrong. May love for our neighbor become more important than our pride. May the Church be a driving force for change. May our Brother and Sisters of Color be given equal opportunity and standing in our country and world.

Over the next year I hope we find a new level of unity. Today division appears to be the name of the game. Instead of looking for common ground, we look for dividing lines. Pride abounds and polarization has become the norm. This is destroying our world. It is time to set aside our differences and in humility come together. As beings created by the same God, we are more the same than we are different. There is more to life than being right. May we fight for what is best for all of us, finding common ground on what really matters and setting aside our differences. May we find true unity.

I am excited to see what the next year brings. May I be a part of making it the best year yet!

James Belt

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