Some of us are overjoyed at the results to our election, and some are dismayed. I'm sure many, if not all of us, are surprised at some facet of what our state and nation decided. Beyond our presidential decision, certain questions were put to Massachusetts voters that will undoubtedly bring change to our communities as well.
Anxiety and fear naturally flow from change. It's part of who we are, and at this moment, there are pressing questions for our communities' future. With anxiety and fear, however, can easily come bitterness, hatred, and unkindness. In this respect, Jesus' command to love our neighbors, however they may have voted, can and must reign in our hearts and in our actions.
That same command to love our neighbors also flows into our future life as Church in a turbulent world. We at Saint Stephen, and in the wider ELCA, will continue to advocate for the poor, the disenfranchised, the oppressed, and the downtrodden in our society. We will continue to advocate for racial equality, for the care of creation, for the empowerment of women, and for equal protection under the law. We will continue to stand with people of other faiths and traditions, and we will continue to advocate for the dignity of LGBTQ persons. We will pray for peace, out loud, in public. We will pray for our newly-elected leaders, that God's reign of equality and abundance inform their decisions.
More importantly than this, as Church we will continue to speak God's Word of grace and love to a world that continues to be divided and fearful. Jesus lived at a time when his people were living under colonial rule, and he spoke of a future where freedom and justice are the rule. He was executed for this, and those who looked to him in hope, like us, feared for the future.
Jesus rose again.
In rising from the grave, refusing to stay dead and quiet, Jesus secured for us a future where God is Lord, and everyone has everything they need. As Christians, we proclaim that no matter which party is in office, no matter what is legal or illegal, Jesus Christ is Lord of all the earth.
Where Jesus is in charge, there is always peace, plenty, and equality. And Jesus is in charge.
I am--and remain--available to chat and pray with you during this time. I encourage you to pray for and care for each other. My office hours are Mondays, 5-7pm, Wednesdays, 9 AM -1 PM, and Thursdays 1-5PM. Worship is every Sunday at 9:30 AM.
Yours in Christ,
Pastor Joseph Graumann, Jr.