The following was sent to the congregation on January 7, 2021.
Beloved in Christ,
Yesterday I was stunned, as I’m sure you were, to watch as a mob breached the United States Capitol in the middle of a joint session of Congress to record the results of the presidential election, believing that they could stop the peaceful transfer of power that is the greatest hallmark of American government. It was heartbreaking and deeply disturbing on so many levels, and as several commentators, members of Congress, and the president-elect went on to say, it reminds us of how fragile democracy is and how precious. I am still trying to process it all, as I’m sure you are.
It is perhaps ironic that this attack on our government happened on Epiphany, the day when the Church celebrates the revealing of Christ to the nations, as the wise men made their way to honor the Christ Child. In that story, when the magi appear in Jerusalem to ask where the newborn king of the Jews could be found, it says that the ruler Herod was frightened and all the city with him (Matthew 2:3). Herod was afraid of the transfer of power. We are told he went on to use deadly violence to try to make sure he stayed in power. He wasn’t the first to do so, and he wouldn’t be the last. Nevertheless, Jesus was saved from Herod’s wrath and would go on to demonstrate what true leadership, power, and authority should look like.
Beloved, because we hold dual citizenship, in this nation and in the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, let us not give in to fear or wrath or despair. Rather, trusting that God is working out the divine purpose, and perhaps testing us to see how we will respond, let us do as the scriptures direct us. Let us pour out our ardent prayers to God for our nation, for our duly elected leaders, for those who have suffered violence, and for those who have been led astray by fear and anger to believe that violence is America’s best hope. Further, let us pray fervently for Christ to reveal to us and in us how we, each of us, should act to respond to these events, as well as the ongoing crises of the pandemic and the reckoning for racial justice in our country (these things are not unrelated!). Then, grounded in Christ, let us act with courage and love. Indeed, I believe the healthiest form of spirituality finds its depth and strength in prayer and its power and vitality in compassionate action. Your action might be letter writing, or book writing, or other forms of truth telling, or advocating for the voiceless, or generous giving, or mentoring, relationship building or mending. It might take a while to figure it out, but let’s start discerning now, because our nation needs a strong dose of healthy spirituality now!
Prayers for the Nation
Join us for our Wednesday Prayer Service, January 13, 2021, at 6:00 p.m. in our Zoom worship space for a time dedicated to praying for the United States of America, for its leaders, for the peaceful transfer of power, and especially for healing our deep divisions and broken sense of union.