Columbia, SC — Calendars have been turned. There is a sense of newness: The old has passed, a new year dawns with all the hope and expectation for a new beginning, with new opportunities for a world that cries out, “we would see the love and goodness of God reflected in the relationship of people to people, people to government and nation to nation.”
Entering 2014, we have a clean page upon which to write a new chapter of the human journey. We might well begin by reviewing The Blue Sweater, in which author Jacqueline Novogratz vividly holds up before us the challenge that should move the human soul to speak out for the lowly, the outcast, the forgotten, the poor, for children living in poverty, with no quality education and medical care. Novogratz, the founder and CEO of Acumen Fund, a nonprofit venture capital firm for the poor that invests in sustainable enterprises, provides a penetrating word picture of the huge gap between rich and poor in an interconnected world.
This election year challenges our economic and political systems to come together with the religious community to create a social structure that has true concern for the well being and common good of all people. Let us be reminded that all persons, rich and poor, of whatever ethnic origin, share a common humanity. All come into this world with nothing, and all leave with nothing; we take with us only the kind of people we have become, as evidenced by our attitude and actions to people and their needs.
There is an inscription on the wall of a 17th century church in England that speaks to us as we enter the year 2014. It reads, “A vision without a task is a dream, a task without a vision is drudgery, but a vision with a task is the hope of the world.”
What is our vision for 2014? What is the vision of the economic leaders, of the political leadership of our community and nation? Will it help shape a community where the economic and political systems in partnership with the religious community use their vast resources for the betterment of people? Will the new year usher in a new era for the people’s well being? The answer will be determined by the depth of each human soul, by each person, each one a child of the creator.
Rev. Canon George I. Chassey