On Monday, my calendar told me that I was up to write the meditation for this week. My first thought was, “Well, I will have to wait and see the results of the midterm elections, so I can respond.” And I did. And, as we all now know, Wednesday morning brought victories and defeats for people across the political spectrum. Depending on where we locate ourselves on that spectrum, we experienced some disappointments as well as some happy surprises. But one reality reflected in all post-election analysis remains consistent: we continue to inhabit a divided nation. Fear is ubiquitous. There is still much work to be done.
And, while waiting to write this afforded me an opportunity to address specifics, I now realize that my conclusion would have been the same regardless. We are called to be the church regardless of the context in which we find ourselves. Whether we feel dread and distress or hope and confidence (or our psycho-spiritual state lands somewhere in between), Jesus’ commission to us doesn’t change: love God, love others as ourselves. And pray for the grace to experience the liberating joy possible always as we live and work in response to such a transformative command.
Last week, our Assisting Bishop Mary Glasspool forwarded the following passage written by the Rev. Jim Wallace of Sojourners to all the clergy in the diocese:
Proclamation of the Gospel, charismatic gifts, social action, and prophetic witness alone do not finally offer a real threat to the world as it is, especially when set apart from a community which incarnates a whole new world order. It is the ongoing life of a community of faith that issues a basic challenge to the world as it is, and offers a visible and concrete alternative. The church must be called to be the church, to rebuild the kind of community that gives substance to the claims of faith.
This weekend, clergy and delegates from Holy Apostles will join the wider diocese for our annual Diocesan Convention. We will be exploring ways to be the church in a world where faith is not assumed. And then on Sunday, after this community worships together, we will gather for a time to share thoughts about how to strengthen this particular parish so that we can continue a powerful legacy of love and witness and being church in this place. I hope you will join us.