Joyous Kwanzaa!

Rev. Mary Louise Ruffner

The word Unity, we might explain here, signifies the union of parts, a result of many drawn together into one perfect harmonious whole…Oneness…One Life, of which we are a part; One Intelligence we use; One Substance, which is brought into manifold manifestation; One Principle, as Jesus taught: That they may all be one, even as Thou, Father, art in me and I in Thee, and they also in us.”
~ The Science of Mind, 641.1 ~

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Love your neighbor as yourself.”
~ Mark 12:31 (NIV) ~

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“The principle of Umoja (unity) speaks to our need to develop and sustain a sense of oneness, righteous and rightful togetherness in the small and large circles and significant relations of our lives, from family and friendship to community and the cosmos. It urges us to practice a principled and peaceful togetherness rooted in mutual respect; justice; care and concern; security of person; and equitably shared goods. And it calls on us to stand in solidarity with the oppressed, suffering and struggling peoples of the world in the cooperative achievement of these goods.” 
~ The Brooklyn Reader ~

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“We envision a world where each and every person has enough food, a home and a sense of belonging; a world of peace and harmony, enfranchisement and justice. “
~ Centers for Spiritual Living ~

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Once the holiday parties are over and the decorations are stored away, there is a tendency to slip back into life as usual, without considering the far-reaching implication of the holy days just celebrated. 

Yes, while one may acknowledge that each of us is the image and likeness of God, having all the attributes of the Spirit within us; it is, nonetheless, quite another thing to put this awareness into practice. 

Kwanzaa, that began the day after Christmas by embracing the principle of unity, prepares us to enter the new year grounded in the consciousness of Oneness and Love that the Season of Light has ignited. It is a time to pause and reflect. It empowers us to take the action in our lives that expresses our inherent divinity. 

While Kwanzaa is anchored in African heritage, unity, and culture; it is universal in its nature. The African diaspora, separating people who share a common tradition, may be likened to that feeling of separation from the One Source, when, like the prodigal son, one has forgotten his divine inheritance.

The daily rituals of Kwanzaa represent the return to self-awareness, the recognition of the inherent qualities that are ever-present and equally distributed. These ethics or principles to live by; i.e. unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith, ultimately yield a world that works for everyone.

The first principle, Unity, is the premise upon which the remaining six principles stand; and the foundation on which the cosmos exists.  

It is a time to re-imagine the common unity that makes up the universal community. “We are One, We Are One…in the Spirit, we are one. Let your Love flow, so the world will know…We Are One!”  

This Week’s Affirmation

Just like everyone, I am worthy of everything. 

Keith Childers

2 thoughts on “Joyous Kwanzaa!

  1. The Kwanzaa principles and SOM principles dovetail to provide the stability we all need to thrive in ‘a time such as this.’ Thank you Rev Mary for making it so clear!


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