Today we have an opportunity. On a day when half of our country is celebrating and proclaiming, “It’s about time!”, and the other half of our nation is mourning and in shock, we have a great opportunity before us.
Today--and the days ahead--is an opportunity to practice what we Christians say about ourselves. As followers of Jesus we say that we hold ourselves to higher standards than those who do not believe in something beyond themselves.
We say all are one in Christ Jesus. Our ancestors in faith wrote that in Christ there is no slave or free, no Jew or Greek, no male or female. [Galatians 3:28] Today let us endeavor to behave like we really believe that God does not observe the walls we erect to divide ourselves. If such a belief sounds implausible to you just now, then at least recall the words of Jesus who said, “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” [Matthew 5:44 KJV]
Mourn, yes, if you are sad, but do not stay there. To everything there is a season, but remember that each season passes to make way for the next. So do not reside in sadness or defeat or even anger. Let those powerful emotions fuel your resolve to work for peaceful and positive change. That’s why God gave those emotions to us when he knit us together in our mothers’ wombs.
Today we have an opportunity, and a choice to make about the way we behave going forward. The choice we make will have profound consequences not only for our growth as spiritual beings but for the world through which we move.
We have endured a year of vitriol and division. We have watched the steady erosion of decency and respectful public discourse. Yesterday a milestone was passed and now today we have an opportunity. We have a decision to make about whether or not we will watch in horror and dismay or roll up our sleeves and offer ourselves as examples of a different way of relating and living.
Christians walk with our feet in the real world and our eyes on Christ who is in the world but not constrained by it. [John 17:14ff] God knows it’s not an easy way to move forward. If you trudge along with your head down at least you can watch your feet and avoid falling. But that isn’t the way we’ve been asked to walk. Don’t forget that we follow a man who walked into every encounter with his head held high, confident in the enduring goodness and mercy of God, confident in the knowledge that in the end love will always and forever win.
You and I may not be able to see it at first glance but God is most certainly present and active in this broken nation we call home. In every corner, God is quietly at work, bringing to bear understanding and peace, awareness and caring, compassion and justice, one human interaction at a time. In a season when the world is clasping its head in its hands and crying out in fear, let’s you and I look for places where God is at work and show those small victories to all who will listen. Be purveyors of the good. As the naturalist overturns and sifts through the detritus of the forest for that one lovely specimen that just moments ago was buried, so likewise let us search underneath the decay and bring to light what God is doing that is holy and lovely and fine.
Today we have an opportunity and a choice to make about how we behave going forward. God knows the way has been and will continue to be at times tough. But we don’t go it alone: we’re all on a long journey home toward God, and the journey is better together.
In Christ, in whom all really are one,