Afterwards

            If I could choose where I’d like to be and my choices were Chicago on the morning of November 3rd or anywhere in the United States on the morning of November 9th, I’d select Chicago. Wouldn’t it be fun to be in the middle of a celebration of a World Series victory after 108 years of waiting? Sadly, I won’t get that choice. Like most of us, I’ll be here, at home on the morning after next Tuesday.

            This is an important election and I hope that every member or friend of Thompson Church who is eligible to vote will do so, after having prayed and sought God’s wisdom. It’s the duty of Christians to be invested in the welfare of the places we consider our temporary homes. That’s why I believe that Christians have to be prepared to get to work on the morning after.

            I received an invitation from a local Presbyterian pastor to be included in a letter that will be sent to the editors of the Bucks County Intelligencer. Here’s a draft of the letter:

            This morning, we awoke to the results of an election that has bitterly divided our nation.  It is tempting to proclaim winners and losers and to treat this election cycle like a sporting match where one party has emerged victorious at the expense of the other.

But to do so would be a grave mistake. In the aftermath of such an election season we will all need to work diligently to repair the damage done. Those who founded this country believed that there is more that unites us than there is that divides us. The candidates who celebrate victory on election night must rise in the morning prepared to govern for the good of all people, including those who voted against them.  To forget this is to forget the history of this great nation, to forget the ideals and the hope of government of the people, by the people, for the people.  

We are leaders of faith communities that, for centuries, have had many disagreements.  And yet, we believe that what is more important than those things that divide us are those things that bring us together.  In that spirit, our prayer for our community and for our nation is that we might set aside the rancor and bitterness of the campaign season in order to remember that we are Americans together. Together, we pray for the wisdom to remember the challenge of Isaiah: that our life together depends upon our ability to turn the swords and spears of hostility and division into the plowshares and pruning hooks of peace and unity.

May God be with us all, and the wisdom of the Divine guide those who lead the people, this day and every day. Amen.

Speaking only for myself and not for our congregation, I will add my name to the list of clergy women and men, as will our Associate Pastor, Bailey Heckman. I agree with those who wrote these words that I now need to be ready to work for the good of our community. We will do that as a congregation two or three days before the election as nearly 170 of us will leave the church to be the church in our community. We can do more as a church and we will do more. And I will sign up for that any day of the week.