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The New Year! The 2,020th year of the Common Era, and Anno Domini. And as Wikipedia points out, “the 20th year of the 3rd millennium, the 20th year of the 21st century, and the 1st year of” a brand new decade. Yet, all I can think about is an icon of the late 20th Century, Barbara Walters, taking over Times Square and saying (after the ball drops) “I’m Barbara Walters, and this is 2020.”

With the start of a new decade, the beginning of a new year - what are your hopes and dreams? Another Eagle’s Superbowl victory - or perhaps a World Series win for the Cubs (er - Philly’s). Perhaps your 2020 wish might be health, a triumph over a disease for a loved one. Some might be hoping for just well being, be it financial, personal, or spiritual.

What are your hopes for 2020?

I was watching YouTube videos about 2020 hopes and dreams and one school interviewed dozens of students and asked them “what are your hopes and dreams?” While some said ‘money’ or a ‘house,’ most...overwhelmingly...said ‘just to be happy.’I could not help but get a bit choked up - ‘just to be happy’ - is it really that simple?

Peace. Happiness. Joy. Health.

These seem to permeate the net in responses to questions about hopes, dreams and wishes for 2020. And in the state we find ourselves, the divisions we face day after day, the violence and world unrest, it only makes sense. I think back to the turn of the century, or generation at the tail end of Generation X were poised to be the new business and political leaders. Ready to take on the classroom or boardroom - filled with hope and optimism. Not wanting to repeat past mistakes and to see that the 21st Century was to be something bold, new, different. Ready for the fulfillment of the promise of a more peaceful, safer world.

That same optimism is there in the rising generation that will take on this new decade, Generation Z. They have already shown us what they are capable of with walkouts to demand more responsible gun ownership in the United States and the climate strikes across the world. They do not have the promise of global security that we did, but they nonetheless are actively seeking it. Economic, social, and climate justice are what seems to be defining them. I truly believe that this new decade will largely be shaped by the youngest of actors on the world stage - and not because Time magazine chose to put one of them on their cover. You can easily find numerous passages in scripture that tell the youth to settle down and listen to the elders - but one of the most scandalous things God did was send a child to be the savior of humankind. It was Jesus that placed a child among the bickering disciples and told them that unless they had the faith of a child they would never understand the things to come.

Perhaps all of us can take a moment and think about what our hopes and dreams are for 2020. Perhaps we, a combination of generations and peoples, can consciously decide that this will be a decade dedicated to the work of peace, justice and equity.

Barbara Walters said:

“It would be nice to feel that we are a better world, a world of more compassion and a world of more humanity, and to believe in the basic goodness of man.”

I think that would be a great 2020.

Yours in Christ,

Pr Jason

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