Sunday, November 6, 2016

May Both Be Blessed...Thoughts for Election Sunday

As we worshiped together this morning, remembering those saints
in the faith who had completed this earthly part of their journey
during the past year...as we sang the lovely, heart rending words
of John Ylvisaker's "Borning Cry"...as we heard Pastor Jennifer's
proclamation of the Gospel message- "Do to others as you would
have them do to you."...as we lighted candles in remembrance of
those loved and lost since last All Saints'...as we shared in the
holy meal, enacting in our very own flesh our one-ness as the
Body of Christ in this place...as we shared in the prayer for this
election, asking the one God to grant us wisdom and discernment,
respect and compassion, even for those with whom we disagree...
as we were a part of all these things on this beautiful, glorious,
sunny Carolina day, my mind and heart were filled to overflowing
with the words of the baptismal blessing in our Lutheran tradition,
the words said over every baptized person (usually an infant) as
the pastor traces an oil-tinged cross on his or her forehead.
"(Name), child of God, you have been sealed by the Holy Spirit
and marked by the cross of Christ forever."

And as I looked around the sanctuary, I could see that cross
traced on every forehead- on Jennifer and Mary Kay, on Monty
and Stan, on Susan and Veronica and Chol, on Ford and Jackie
and Hans and Phil, on Katherine and Joan and Indigo, on every
person there, acknowledging us all- each and every one of us-
as children of God- not one in thought or opinion or political
affiliation or race or economic status, but ONE people, sealed by
the Holy Spirit and marked by the cross of Christ forever, a
truth which binds and blesses us, no matter our differences.

And as I drove home, I found myself thinking about, overcome
by, these words of blessing, and in these final contentious pre-
lection days, I offer them up for both of the major candidates.
Though I do not know if Donald Trump has been baptized,
today I am bold to trace a cross on his forehead with the words,
"Donald, child of God, you have been sealed with the Holy Spirit
and marked by the cross of Christ forever." Knowing that she
was raised in a Methodist home, I feel certain that Hilary Clinton
has been baptized, and as I trace a cross on her forehead, I say,
"Hilary, child of God, you have been sealed by the Holy Spirit
and marked by the cross of Christ forever." For today- only three
days away from a presidential election during whose season both
candidates have been vilified and dehumanized and disrespected
by those on the other side- it is, I think, the very best I can do,
acknowledging that both are children of the God of Love in whom
I live and move and have my being.

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