How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity.
It is like the precious oil on the head, running down upon the beard, the beard of Aaron.
It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion.
For there the Lord ordained his blessing, life forevermore. (Psalm 133)
Election Day is over. And now we move on. No matter how we voted, no matter whether we felt we won or lost, we move on. We move on because that is what democracy is about—we move on.
In the Church, we have an opportunity and an obligation to begin the healing process in our communities, to be a beacon of light for those who are exhausted, embittered and feeling disenfranchised. Regardless of our political convictions, regardless of our strongly held opinions, what holds us together is stronger than what separates us. And as Christians we need to model that for the rest of the country. Read from Colossians 3:
So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.
We are joined together by our baptism. We are held together by the love of God in Christ Jesus, who gave his life for the sake of the world, the whole world. We are held together by the God who created each one of us in the divine image, and who loves each one of us despite our faults and flaws. We are held together by the Holy Spirit, who works to transcend our pettiness and self-interest. We are held together by being a forgiven, loved and redeemed people—all of us.
And so we move forward. Election Day is over, and we’ll have services on Sunday. We’ll preach and teach. We’ll partake of the sacraments. And we’ll do it in communities that have been divided by politics. And we will pray for unity, pray for wisdom, pray for strength. We will feed the hungry, and visit those in prison. And we will reach out to our neighbors. Because that’s how we go on.
A Prayer for the Nation in the Book of Common Prayer goes this way:
Lord God Almighty, you have made all the peoples of the earth for your glory, to serve you in freedom and in peace; Give to the people of our country a zeal for justice and the strength of forbearance, that we may use our liberty in accordance with your gracious will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Jessica Crist, Bishop
Bishop Jessica Crist
Bishop of the Montana Synod of the ELCA