A Pastoral Word In Response To The Presidential Election

For those who are struggling mightily emotionally and spiritually with the outcome of the presidential election I offer these pastoral words:

  • Feel. Allow yourself to feel your feelings, all of them. Some will say, “Be hopeful!” Hope has not been extinguished; but true hope will emerge out of the real dark stuff of our experience, including fear, anger or despair. We can only find our way to hope by beginning where we are.

  • Breathe. Take time out to watch your breath, in and out, in and out. Not only will this help quiet our busy minds, our breath is also a concrete reminder that we still have this “one wild and precious life” to live to the fullest (Mary Oliver).

  • Embrace. Hold one another. Exchange a heartfelt hug or handclasp; we need to affirm our human connections, now more than ever.

  • Pray. In particular pray for our own and the church’s wisdom and courage to respond to the challenges that lie ahead.

  • Listen. There is a lot of noise right now. The ground underneath us feels unstable. But remember, God is not in the wind, the earthquake, or the fire (1 Kings 19:11-12) but in the silence, listen for the still small voice of God. It’s still there.

  • Demand. Demand justice, and avoid appeals to reconciliation that do not first commit also to equality and justice for all God’s children.

  • Resist. Especially resist oversimplified or unhelpful theological explanations, specifically that everything that happens is part of God’s plan (“for a reason”). God has no plan apart from us. If God’s Kingdom (Beloved Community) is to come, it’s up to us to get busy building it.

  • Speak. Boldly speak the truth as we understand it, as made known to us through the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.

  • Act. We are the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12), called by God “for just such a time as this.” (Esther 4:14)

  • Believe. No earthly leader can extinguish the light of God nor the love of God for all creation.

Finally, Remember. You have Pastors at First Church Simsbury always available to feel, breathe, embrace, pray, listen, demand, resist, speak, act and believe with you.

Published in: on November 9, 2016 at 8:16 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. Thank you, George, for these grounding words. As I struggle to make sense out of a reality that feels worse than senseless, the words of Scripture and worship help steady my reeling spirit. “Hold fast to that which is (still/possibly) good, and render unto no one evil for evil.” And most of all, remember that through God’s ever present truth, regardless how seemingly hidden, “The light (STILL) shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not (will not!) overcome it.” John 1:5. ~ Peruse

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