American Minister of the People's Unitarian Church
Waldemar Argow, fully Wendelin Waldemar Wieland Argow
American Minister of the People's Unitarian Church
The old year has slipped through the glass of time, taking with it a
portion of my life. For me a face has faded, a voice is stilled, a chair is
empty; precious ambitions lay scattered like broken alabaster boxes,
and my sky is oft tarnished by the low-hanging clouds of failure.
But I stand again at the threshold of eternity—the Land of Beginning
Again—where the New Year woos with an enchanting hope. So I plight
my troth to the Mystic Comrade by my side, who teaches me to read
the meaning of life in the light of its high hours. In my scars I see the
ministry of redemption, and in my slow-healing wounds I read the
gospel of Triumphant Life.
Each morn the world wrapped in winsome smiles unfolds, and I know
the best is yet to be. All through the year I shall work and play, sing
and pray, dream and hope, suffer and love; for I was as one lonely
and have found anew a friend who walked ever by my side. And since
I have come out of the Silence, and shall return again into the Silence,
as a pilgrim of time I will walk with faith the streets of years.
The ideal religion is to establish the proper balance between mind and emotion.
The first law of life is: adjust, or perish. Whatever cannot accommodate
itself to the changes, surprises, and vicissitudes of life inexorably will
be wiped out... the Unitarian Universalist way is an affirmation of the essential goodness and nobility of life... a consecration to the highest values [humanity] knows, and a technique for realizing those values and living by
them... It is to this task the redemption of the present and the betterment of the future, the maturation of [humanity] and the bringing to flower of [our] noblest potentialities—that liberal religion fervently, and with a sense of
urgency, is dedicated. This is what may yet be the saving of us, and this is why I have the temerity to say, with no apology, that liberal
religion is the answer.
Christmas Is Like A Lotus Blossom -
An old Buddhist said: “Tell me, what is this day you cherish so, that you call Christmas?”
And the Stranger from the West said: “Christmas is not a day, really. It is light, I think. It comes when days are shortest and darkest and hearts despair, and it reminds us that winter death is a temporary thing and that light and life are eternal.
“And it is hope. For it demonstrates how kind and generous and self-forgetting human beings can be. And we know that what people can be sometimes, they can, if they will, be most times.
“And assuredly, it is love. Its symbol is a newborn babe, warm and safe in his mother’s arms. To be sure, he was born a long, long time ago. Yet through the ages his influence as he became a man and the truths he taught and the love he incarnated have proved stronger and dearer in matters that matter most than all the kings and armies and governments of history. Oh, whatever else it may be, Christmas indeed is love.”
“I think I understand,” the old Buddhist said, “Christmas is like a lotus blossom. When it blooms, it holds, as in a chalice, the beauty of the world.”
“Yes, you do understand,” said the stranger from the West. “When it comes, Christmas brings the light that redeems us from the darkness, the hope that casts out fear and the love that overcomes the world. ‘It is Christmas!’ We rejoice. And, suddenly, the lotus blooms…”
Everliving Source of us all,
May we find wisdom this day;
May we come to understand—
that we without You are a well without water;
that a person without friends is a tree without branches;
that words without deeds are a cry no one can hear;
that knowing without feeling is a head without a body;
that strength without tenderness is a darkness where no light shines;
that life without love is a desert where no rain falls.
May the wisdom we find this day make us wiser in the days ahead:
Wise enough to be ourselves and to try to understand ourselves as best we may;
Wise enough to be the master of our moods;
Wise enough to find in the buffeting and shocks of life a discipline that will make us stronger than we were before.
May the varied experiences of each day increase our store of wisdom.
May our fellowship with one another, and with You, increase our treasury of love.
The great hope is that after all
these long centuries of wandering, Christianity may return to its home and its heritage and there find
once again the precious things it lost so tragically – and so soon.
The Jews did one other seemingly contradictory thing. They individualized religion; they
made it very real and personal. And yet at the same time they universalized religion! They proclaimed
the moral world-rule of one God.
All this, perhaps the greatest achievement in the history of religion, was the work of a mere
handful of people in a tiny, obscure country at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea. And all of
this was the heritage or the backg
I think it must be obvious that the earliest beginnings of
Christianity were one hundred per cent Jewish. It is true that the child rapidly grew up and left his
ancestral home and set out on a course of his own, but his parentage, his heritage and his background
were all Jewish.
What does this mean? For one thing, it means that Christianity was wonderfully fortunate in its
parentage. For Judaism was far superior to any other religion in the world of that day. It has often
been said that religion is the peculiar genius of the Jews. Certainly no other people or religion has
produced such a pantheon of religious greats as Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekial, Micah, Hosea and
Jesus, to mention only a few.
Here is why I say that no other religion in the world even approached the heights that Judaism
had achieved. It was Judaism that made the daring leap from polytheism, or a belief in many gods, to
monotheism, or a belief in one God only. That, just by itself, was one of the most impressive steps
forward ever taken in the history of civilization.
Religion is a hunger for beauty and love and glory. It is wonder and the mystery and majesty, passion and ecstasy. It is emotion as well as mind, feeling as well as knowing, the subjective as well as the objective. It is the heart soaring to heights the head alone will never know; the apprehension of meanings science alone will never find; the awareness of values ethics alone will never reveal. It is the human spirit yearning for, and finding, something infinitely greater than itself which it calls God.