Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Praying for Wednesday

Our church set aside our sanctuary and some time to pray on election night.  It took place concurrently with a meeting and so the clergy at my church took twenty minute shifts over the course of the hour and instead of being bothered by the interruption, I found that I was grateful for the quiet on a frenzied night of meetings and election coverage.   The candles and white calla lilies from All Saints day still covered our sanctuary.  It was simple, pious atmosphere.  I felt called into a quiet sense of responsibility.  

While consecrating communion, I described the last supper this way.  
And on the night Jesus gathered his followers around him he brought different people with different ideas to his one table.  And we know that as the grain is scattered through many fields, it is gathered together in this one loaf, united by love. 
At that moment, I needed to hold on to hope for our country and our community.  Too often we think that a "house united" means everyone thinks the same thing, not that our differences are a gift that leads us into a better, stronger community.  Seriously people, we can't all be thumbs. 

Instead of praying for one outcome, I prayed for Wednesday.  I prayed specifically for the people that I know have different political opinions than my own, not because I was “praying for the enemy,” but because I felt called to bring light into the moments of a breach of community and hope for our future together.  My prayers weren’t that their mind be changed, but simply to hold them in love. 

I know in the bottom of my heart that the people on the other side of my thought-out and morally weighed political conclusions also do a great deal of soul-searching and heart-work for their stances.  I cannot assume that it’s out of ignorance or stupidity they have made their decisions.  I respect their judgment and I knew that I would accepted the new President if the election had gone the other way. 

Wednesday comes after a yearlong argument.  Our problems are still there --- a need for governmental income, more sustainable job creation, the ravages of a decade of war, and a climate that is changing with violent outbursts.  I also believe that it is a patriotic duty to hold on to our convictions when your officials disagree with us.  I hope that my conservative friends continue to hold us to standards of fiscal responsibility and respect for our institutions; I hope that my progressive friends continue to work for equal access to the benefits of living in our country. 


Differences do not equate with the face of evil.  An election going differently than your hopes is not a time to call for revolution or to threaten the lives of those who just became elected.  It is not the time to say that you disown your family because they voted for a different direction for the country.  This is the time to demonstrate to the world that we can move forward despite our strong, opinionated differences.  Democracy is not merely about having an election, but forging a future out of the results of the ballot box.  

I am holding all of us in the light, so that we can show that we are one, united in love.  I am a Christian who believes that we are called into unity, not to be the same, but to hold each other in respect and hope.


mydnight said...

Your comment about room for division in "a house united" reminded me of a quote (and gives me a chance to show off my inner nerd:)):

“Star Trek was an attempt to say that humanity will reach maturity and wisdom on the day that it begins not just to tolerate, but take a special delight in differences in ideas and differences in life forms. […] If we cannot learn to actually enjoy those small differences, to take a positive delight in those small differences between our own kind, here on this planet, then we do not deserve to go out into space and meet the diversity that is almost certainly out there.”
― Gene Roddenberry

Ruth said...

Exactly! This would have been an extremely useful quote a few weeks ago. I was preaching on church unity and wanted to emphasize that it meant celebrating our differences. This quote would have gone so well with the borg illustration.