November 05, 2020
It has been quite a week. As I write this letter on Thursday afternoon, we have no news yet of who won the presidential election. We are patiently watching our democracy in action – people have voted and now those votes are being counted. And as they come in, the votes are revealing what we already knew to be true – our country is deeply divided in our political beliefs and what is at stake in this election.
As you process whatever you might be feeling this week, I encourage you to tend to your soul and psyche. We need to care for ourselves because our world and our God needs us to be rested for the days and weeks and months ahead. No matter who wins this election we have so much work ahead of us AND we have God’s grace and presence with us. Both statements are true. Hold on to God’s grace as you brace yourself for the work that is ahead. For if we are to bring the kin-dom of God about on earth as it is in heaven, then we know that our work as followers of Jesus remains the same regardless of who is in the White House.
I’ve heard it said many times in this election season that before we are Republicans or Democrats, we are Americans. But before we are Americans, we are beloved children of God, created in the image of God and extended the grace of God. Our civic duty of voting as Americans is important. Our Christian duty as followers of Jesus is even more important – to do our best to live as Jesus lived. Just as we’ve seen a record turnout of voters this election, I hope that we’ll see a record turnout of acts of compassion, justice, and love in the aftermath of the election too. Just as every vote matters, every act of love and grace and justice matters too. God needs your voice and presence in the world, just as our country needs your vote and presence at the polls.
As gospel people, we are to feed the hungry, care for the widow and orphan, tend to the sick and the dying, welcome the stranger, love our neighbor (and our enemy), pray for those who persecute us, listen to and lift up those on the margins, give generously to those in need, honor each body as beloved and worthy of life, speak justice, work for the liberation of the oppressed, encourage the discouraged, embody peace, care for God’s creation, share the love and grace of God with all we meet, hold on to hope that our diversity reflects the fullest image of God, and believe that our world is being re-created each and every day – through me and through you by the presence of the Holy Spirit.
While we cannot control the outcome of this election at this point, we can control how we care and tend to ourselves and our neighbors in its aftermath. I don’t know what self-care for you looks like in this time, but for me it’s focusing on Psalm 46:10: “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” And then after I’m still a while and remember that we worship and follow God (not a president), I get busy with the work of God, or as the prophet reminds us in Micah 6:8: “to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.” And I don’t know about you – but that’s enough to keep me busy for a lifetime.
Taking deep breaths and praying alongside you for our country, and for our courage as people of faith,