The election is over; now we start on the days to come

Throughout the day I have been logging into my Facebook page and generally checking in with everyone I connect with on social media for their reactions and responses to the surprising results of the election. I do not chose/use the word “surprise” as my own description but as it was described by others. For some it was a pleasant surprise and for some it was not. Amongst the circle of people I connect with through social media and face to face, the majority feel it was not a pleasant surprise but something they feared and continue to fear. And is so often the case, when one fears, one lashes out. And I have heard/read a lot of lashing out. But I have also read/heard voices of hope and determination to make the best of it and work towards compassion, acceptance and unity.  And that is good.

But . . . but . . . these voices of hope and determination also tell me there is great pain and fear underneath. That they have not turned to anger but love and caring is a good and positive thing. It still, however, speaks and indicates the presence of pain and fear.

I have written a time or two about fear and that God does not call us to a life of fear. Not that the Divine does not acknowledge that we fear, but that the Divine does not wish us to live in fear, but in hope and courage. And not because we fear, are afraid and act out of fear but that we banish fear and replace it with trust in God/the Divine.

This is not the first time the nation, individually or as a group, has feared for itself and others. And without being a pessimist or doomsayer, it will not be the last. We, as a nation have lived in fear and through fear. Fear may be out hope, determination and courage – but it does not always bring out the “best” of us. That is what I hope in the days, weeks and months to come we can do – bring out the best of ourselves and bring out the best in others. We can do that by not letting our fear spread and multiply; no, our fear must be set aside in favor of traits that lead to care, compassion, acceptance, understanding, and unity.

This is not “new” exhortations or encouragements. In fact, this sort of encouragement is pretty biblical. I do not have any bible verses to back this up, and these are not reflections that come from the Revised Common Lectionary. Indeed they are kind of extemporaneous in nature. But written from the heart. And these are comments not just from a national perspective, but global. While this election took place and directly impacts the United States, the U.S. is part of the global community and what happens has impact in other parts of the world. The days, weeks, and months to come will be played out against the backdrop of the global community, and the global community will also impact us.

Living in the United States but being a Canadian citizen means I did not have a part in the election process but I still live in the outcome of the election. It has been a interesting position to be in. I feel both a part of the global community and a resident of the United States – not having a voice but still being a presence. In other words, my opinion did not and does not much matter. So I have not shared much as to what I have felt inside.

What I hope has come across is hope in the Divine, and a desire to see love, compassion, caring and peace spread to all people. In the grand scheme of things, a very simple desire. It is my hope and pray that those traits are what fill our nation and the global community. And I hope and pray, beloved reader, that is your desire too. Selah!


Season After Pentecost: The Old Testament Passage – Looking ahead to the new, while remembering the old

For I am about to create new heavens and a new earth; the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind.” (Isaiah 65:17)

My memory is an interesting construct. Many things I do not remember well – to my regret. But I make lists and make notes, so I do okay. Some things I remember well, and well enough. But somethings I remember vividly; when I remember them, they splash across my mind, and I feel the exact same emotions I did when the event first happened. Having such a vivid memory is not necessarily and advantage. Sometimes it seems like no time has past since the memory was made; whether that be a memory of many years ago, a memory of yesterday, or a memory that I cannot place but I know it happened!

There are some things I wish I would not remember – some unpleasant things. But it seems like the unpleasantness and the feelings/emotions are burned into my memory. And some things I do not want to forget – ever.

So, we come to the first verse of this passage, and God stating that the Divine is creating new-ness. And I have to pause, wonder and consider . . . am I willing to release the memories I have in order to be a part of this new heaven and new earth?

“But be glad and rejoice forever in what I am creating; for I am about to create Jerusalem as a joy, and its people as a delight. I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and delight in my people; no more shall the sound of weeping be heard in it, or the cry of distress. No more shall there be in it an infant that lives but a few days, or an old person who does not live out a lifetime; for one who dies at a hundred years will be considered a youth, and one who falls short of a hundred will be considered accursed. They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat; for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be, and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labor in vain, or bear children for calamity; for they shall be offspring blessed by the LORD– and their descendants as well. Before they call I will answer, while they are yet speaking I will hear.” (Verses 18 – 24)

You may say, beloved reader, I would be a fool not to give up my former memories in favor of this. But who of us, beloved reader, would gladly leave this earth for the live to come? Who wants to be shed of these earthly and experiences and memories in favor of the eternity beyond? Are there not many people who cling to life, squeezing every second for that it holds? Is not living many decades a goal of so many?

Now, you may interpret this passage from Isaiah as being things on earth, in this world. But where are such things happening? Where is there joy and delight as the writer of Isaiah describes it? In what day and age did such things occur? For all the “utopia” that is recorded in human history, it did not last. This is our future, beloved reader, as sure a description of the new heaven and new earth that the return of the Lord will usher in. The question is often asked, will you be ready? What I am asking is, will you be ready to let go of this world?

“The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, the lion shall eat straw like the ox; but the serpent–its food shall be dust! They shall not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain, says the LORD. “ (Verse 25)

Who are we to be worthy of the Lord’s holy mountain? Who are we to insist on remaining in this world? We live between two realities beloved reader. The sweetness that we do find in this life. And the promise that is yet to come. If I must make the leap from one world to the next, I need to remember clearly why that leap is worthwhile and what I must do to earn it. Selah!