I’ve always loved the idea of resolutions, of choosing one simple act to commit to, to improve myself, my faith, my world. Resolutions recognize that things can be better – there is work to do, and with commitment, we can cultivate better practices. At the start of a new calendar year, we are invited to choose some small way to make a change for the better.
Over the years, I’ve learned that grandiose resolutions are unproductive. Trying to do too much, too quickly, or too radically is doomed to failure. Resolutions, at their best, are small changes – tweaks to our lives, focused on one at a time. Change is not easy; it takes time to break old habits and intention to cultivate new ones. Yet over time, with commitment, we have the ability to bring about change – one small step at a time.
The church office recently made a resolution. We committed to no longer purchase Hewlett Packard (HP) products. This decision comes at the request of Palestinian Civil Society, encouraging the international community to boycott companies and products that benefit economically off racism, injustice and oppression in their communities. HP profits off the State of Israel’s racist population registry that creates second-class citizenship, Israel’s military forces that illegally occupy Palestinian land, and Israel’s use of mass incarceration to suppress Palestinian resistance.
This decision will not change the world, end the injustices done overseas, or alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian people, but it does make a difference in who we are as a congregation. It allows us to understand the interconnections between how we do business as a church, and how our dollars contribute to the welfare (or lack thereof) of others. It allows us to remove ourselves from complicity in injustice – at least in this particular way. It gives us the opportunity to hear the cries of the oppressed, and do what we can to help out, listening to their requests for how best to do this. As a church, we are able to better live out our mission to do justice in the world through this small act.
As we enter a new year, I encourage you to make a change in your life – it doesn’t have to be big – but make a commitment to do something – anything – to allow you to more fully live into who you want to be in 2018. Together, our small commitments can make a big difference.