Reflections on the Election
On this pristine early autumn day with sparkling skies and refreshingly cool temperatures, I paused for a brief moment to silently observe nature’s holiness: bright sunshine, a quiet breeze, feathered friends, trees eager to burst forth in a rainbow of color (maybe even owls in hiding while taking a daytime snooze?). A much needed reprieve from busyness; a calm oasis of spiritual renewal. The bird feeder seemed to be an especially peaceful point of focus. That is,...until it wasn’t.
Far from being tender and placid, the activity around the bird feeder erupted into a frenzied competition for sunflower hearts. Sparrows of several varieties descended upon the feeder, aggressively pecking at each other and pushing one another out of the way. The tiny finches didn’t have a chance, but rather were held at bay, fluttering around in desperation for a millisecond opportunity to snatch a seed morsel. The cardinals converged under the feeder, and then the big blue jays squawked their way into the thick of the activity, eventually driving all the other birds away. Birds imitating humans, or so it seemed.
We are disturbed when members of the animal kingdom express aggressive, mean-spirited, selfish tendencies; but we accept as inevitable or expected or even entertaining whenever human beings behave in such ways. Perhaps this is why we are witnessing a continued acceleration of lack-of-civility as we prepare for the presidential election on November 8.
How do we – as Christians, as people of faith – respond?
One way is simply not to respond at all. The presidential election is a matter of national politics which for many people does not have a place in the church. Clearly, this is the path of least resistance. But is it really being faithful to our convictions?
Individually, of course, we may fervently and proactively take sides between the candidates. Many of us have strong feelings for and against the Republican and Democratic nominees, and obviously we will all make a choice on November 8. As a church community, however, we cannot do likewise. But does this mean that we remain silent in the face of a moral crisis? You may disagree with me that our nation’s moral aptitude has been severely compromised, but I find it difficult to arrive at any other conclusion when expressions of hate, prejudice, belittlement, intolerance, and violence are proliferating at an alarming pace.
Our Christian discipleship is not consistent with the distorted moral compass of our nation at this moment in history. And so -- as Christians, as people of faith -- I believe we have no choice but to claim, proclaim, and model Jesus’ teachings of extravagant love. God is giving us a clarion call: Love your neighbor as yourself. Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God. Inasmuch as you have fed, clothed, visited, loved the least of these your brothers and sisters, you have done it unto Jesus. Bring good news to the poor and liberation to those who are oppressed. Forgive as God has forgiven you.
On October 15 at 7:00 pm, Nauset Middle School, the Federated Church will cultivate seeds of love as we gather for our Community Concert for Peace and Harmony. The concert will be intentionally non-sectarian and non-political. It will communicate clearly and joyfully that love and understanding between all peoples of all races, cultures, religious traditions, languages, and orientations is the only acceptable moral course. Will you join us for a beautiful evening of inspiring music and unified community spirit?
Racial tensions in our nation are sharp and raw. Would you be interested in learning more about racial justice? On Friday evening November 4 and Saturday November 5 from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm, we are hosting a Racial Justice Training led by Rev. Kelly Gallagher and Rev. Don Remick. We would like up to ten (10) Federated Church members to attend the training along with members of the MLK Action Team and possibly officers from area police departments. Would you like to be one of the Federated Church participants? Please contact me as soon as you can by phone (508-255-3060, ext 11) or email (email@example.com).
In these concluding weeks of the presidential election campaign, and just as importantly, once a new president is elected, let us remember the words “go and do likewise.” A lawyer came to
Jesus, questioning him about the word “neighbor.” Jesus responded by telling the parable of the Good Samaritan and a, “the one who showed mercy.” “Go and do likewise,” Jesus commanded.
By showing mercy and love to everyone, may we – as Christians, as people of faith - help to
rebuild the moral fortitude of our nation.
Love and Blessings,