St. Stephen Lutheran Church
A remarkable thing happened on Tuesday evening, just as the polls were closing. A group of Christians gathered together to worship and pray and be re-membered as the body of Christ in the midst of political divisions that seek to tear that body apart.
We were an impossibly diverse group: teens and retirees and everything in between, men and women, black and white, pastors from different faith traditions, a candidate, members of several different congregations in town, people whose attire identified them with opposing campaigns. It was the kind of community only possible at the foot of the cross.
We were there to participate in Election Day Communion, a movement begun by three pastors from different states and different denominations who are troubled by the ways in which people of faith have been drawn in to the idea that our fundamental unity is found in a flag or a political issue, rather than in the cross. So on Tuesday night, a community gathered here in Marshall, joined by 900 other gatherings in all 50 states and around the world. We confessed our participation in systems that seek to turn us against each other and away from our identity in Christ. We prayed together. We sang together. We shared peace with one another, looking one another in the eye and shaking hands. We shared bread and wine at Christ's table, remembering Jesus' ministry of reconciliation and being re-membered as His body. We were sent back out into the world God loves, renewed in unity by the Holy Spirit and continuing Christ's ministry of reconciliation.
The vocation of all God's people is the same today as it was on Tuesday and last week and years ago and years from now: in the words of Micah 6:8, "to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God." I am grateful to have been part of such a powerful reminder of that identity and call, to have experienced unity in Christian community at the height of partisan divisions. I hope that you too, might have such moments and participate in such community. And I pray that members of our communities and our nation, and our newly elected leaders, will re-commit to humbly working together for the flourishing of all.