Yesterday, our nation chose a new president, and the choice has left many of us angry, fearful and deeply sorrowful.
We hear the cries of anger and pain – particularly from women. Women who thought yesterday was finally going to be the day our nation would see you as full human beings and value your gifts of leadership. This election truly is one more indignity you should not have had to bear on top of so many you have had to bear in the past.
We hear cries of fear from immigrants and people of color who fear for safety in yet new ways and from lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender images of God who fear the loss of freedoms so recently won and so hard earned.
The choice our nation made has stripped away the myth of America as a land of freedom, equal opportunity and justice for all. What has been revealed about our nation is what those among us on the margins have known all along … that to be a woman, a person of color, an immigrant, a Muslim, an LGBT person, a person living with disabilities is truly to be valued as less than in this nation. That white supremacy and male supremacy are not going gently into that great night.
What has also been revealed is that in many regions of our country – particularly poorer, rural areas – there is deep pain, anger and fear that we have ignored to our own peril … pain, anger and fear that drove much of the choice our nation has made.
And so as we may awake this morning with anger, pain and sorrow, we first need to give ourselves space just to feel those emotions because we truly have to feel to heal. We need to remember, as our sister Traci Blackmon reminds us that “mourning, shock, disbelief, anger … are not incompatible with faith.”
At the same time, we have another choice before us. And our choice will reveal who we are. So today and in the days to come, we choose to do what we have always done at All Saints Church. We choose to follow Jesus.
We choose to stand with those among us who are crying out in anger, pain and fear. To comfort those who grieve, listen deeply to those who rage, and shield those who tremble.
We choose to say to those among us who fear what might happen to you in the months and years ahead because of the color of your skin, the smallness of your income, the nation of your origin, your gender or how you identify your gender, your religion, or because of who you love that we will always stand together and you will never stand alone.
We choose to be the Beatitudes voice in the halls of power, bound by no law but the law of love.
We choose love over hate, courage over fear, and inclusion over degradation.
And we will make this choice together. All Saints Church will be open today from 8am to 8pm. There will be two opportunities today to gather for prayer and Eucharist: at 12:10 p.m. and again this evening at 7:00 p.m. I am sad I am not there with you today. I am traveling back from Northern California, where I have been on retreat with my colleague group and will be back in Pasadena later tonight. However Zelda, Susan, Sally and the rest of the staff are available to listen, talk, pray and sit with any who need.
The story of humanity is the story of struggle, and the one thing we can be sure of is that in that struggle, God will never leave our side. And so today, even as we sit in our anger, our sorrow and our pain, still we rise, and still we lift every voice and sing:
God of our weary years, God of our silent tears,
Thou Who hast brought us thus far on the way;
Thou Who hast by Thy might, led us into the light,
Keep us forever in the path, we pray.
Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee.
Lest our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee.
Shadowed beneath Thy hand, may we forever stand,
True to our God, true to our native land.
Con el amor de Cristo,