The Dean’s Corner
After the events of this week we are all holding our breath. In what should have been a procedural step in our nation’s peaceful transition of power, rioters stormed the capital, placing legislators, staffers, and law enforcement officers at great risk.
Yet we hold our breath all the more so for the threat to our democracy this poses. As citizens and Christians, we are called to love our neighbors and our adversaries, and to express that love through, among many other ways, a peaceful transition of power from one elected official to the next, from one president to the next.
What purpose did that rampage serve but to foreclose on an occasion for sacrificial love that binds us together as citizens? We may not all express this in Christian terms, but the brazen acts of rioters attempting to overturn an election is not only itself an act of violence; it is an attempt to further turn us against our own neighbor.
This event unfolded on the Feast of the Epiphany, one of the most sacred of days in the Christian church. This begins a season where we celebrate the gift of Christ for the whole world, the gift of love and peace given for the nations. It is a time of commissioning, in a way, where we give thanks to God by bearing that very light of love and peace to the world.
In moments of fear, it is hard to love. So much is at stake: our democracy, our culture, our ability to live in peace. Armed bands of men, storming our nation’s capital, will surely take our breath away and pose a very real danger to safety and civility.
But they cannot take away something that is God’s to give, and ours to cherish: the love that binds us together as children of God.
I will continue to pray for our legislators, for our families, and for our democracy; I pray for those who feebly reach for a weapon in an attempt to take power, and for those who courageously stand between them and the abyss. I pray for us all, that we support one another as we renew our commitment to build God’s beloved community.
May God bless us and give us the strength and grace, as a nation and as a church, to continue to love: fearlessly, audaciously, and courageously.