I typically use this medium to write to an auidience wider than the congregation that I serve. Today I wanted to share my pastoral thoughts that I shared with my congregation in this space
One of the great acts of our democracy is electing the President of the United States. In a divisive election season, the thrill of victory is heightened and the sting of defeat is magnified. Some desired this outcome, while others did not. That’s the problem with elections, they create winners and losers. Now, we move forward. In the church, we speak often of the Body of Christ. In a day and age where unity seems nearly impossible, we recall Jesus’ prayer that all of his followers might be one. To be one is not to convert others to our way of thinking; rather it is to acknowledge our shared humanity and shared dependence upon God. This prayer calls on followers of Christ and the church to protect those who are marginalized and those without privilege. I believe that Jesus offers God’s redeeming grace and love to all and I believe in the Good News of God’s reign and realm.
One of the things this election cycle has shown us is that we need new models of community. We need a new way of being together. Instead of seeking to listen and hearing all voices, we have only been shouting louder. There are people on all places in the political spectrum who feel as though their voice has not been heard. True unity and true community seeks to find the fullness of life for all.
One of the things I cherish about SSCC and about the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is that we are people of the table. We hold firm that there is room for all. No matter who received your vote on Tuesday, a place is set for you on Sunday. In a day and age of deep division rooted in fear, what a life-giving belief.
My hope and prayer is that the church models a new, better way of being in community with one another. What if we led the way in how to be in relationship with one another, especially among those who have different points of view? For too long, we have modeled our life together after other institutions and communities. It’s time we look to the life and ministry of Jesus for a new model…. After all, it’s not a President in whom we claim our faith, rather it is in the God of love in which “we move, live and have our being.” I look forward to gathering around God’s great table with you this Sunday.
Grace and peace to you,
Rev. Danny Gulden