Since inauguration day, many, many things have been happening.
Events that have evoked celebration and joy.
Events that have evoked fear, worry and concern.
My word for the year is focus.
As I spend time sifting through different posts on different social media sites, it is hard to focus on what is actually happening. It's hard to focus on issues that I feel are important, not only to me, but to my neighbor (locally and around the globe.)
I've been trying to focus my energy and attention on what is important...and my mind keeps jumping.
I get that people have different opinions.
I get that we don't always agree.
But I also struggle greatly with how we have been interacting with one another and treating one another. It's perfectly okay to see a post you do not agree with and just move on. Sometimes that may be the smart choice.
Now, back to focusing...seeing as I need to think about it all the time.
I tried to think about how to focus in our fast paced political situation. I tried to think about how to (as educated as possible) to follow all that is happening. I tried to figure out where to begin.
And when I did, I remember where it all started for me.
At my baptism. That's when by God's act, I was welcomed into the Body of Christ. When I was in middle school I was confirmed. I affirmed my baptism. I confessed the creed and I was asked this question: You have made public profession of your faith. Do you intend to continue in the covenant God made with you in holy baptism:
to live among God's faithful people,
to hear the word of God and share in the Lord's supper,
to proclaim the good news of God in Christ through word and deed,
to serve all people, following the example of Jesus,
and to strive for justice and peace in all the earth?
And I responded with, "I do, and I ask God to help and guide me."
Living among God's faithful people (the family of faith at Trinity) I pray that as I am fed and nourished in word and the Lord's supper that I am able to share the good news of God in Christ through word and deed (sharing the good news of God's love for all of God's people, the good news of forgiveness of sins, the gift of grace and that you are loved no matter what!), to serve all people (ALL people), following the example of Jesus (and Jesus asked who is your neighbor? My neighbor is the person who lives across the street and across the nation. My neighbor is someone who looks just like me and shares my faith, or more likely, my neighbor has different color skin, learned a different language growing up, has a different faith or does not practice a religion, is a different gender, is surrounded by a family who loves them or who lives alone, my neighbor is someone who may not even have a place to call home, my neighbor is someone who struggles to make ends meet or is financially well off - I'm sure I've missed some similarities and differences here, but you get the idea. My neighbor is who I am called to serve...not myself. Especially when I have a voice. I feel that I am called to speak for those who have no voice and to listen to the voices that are different than mine so I can better understand how we can come to strive for justice and peace in all the earth.
Justice and peace in all the earth...for me that means starting at home...moving into the community and across the nation and globe. It means writing to and calling my representatives. It means not allowing hate filled speech to be part of interactions I have with people. It means taking time each day to read or visit multiple news sites to compare and contrast the news stories that are hitting my news feed. It means being as educated as much as I can be to the faith and beliefs of others so I can enter into conversation with others with humility and love.
This by no means is the answer...
This by no means will make anything easier...
But I hope and pray that I will be able to share my voice as a voice of care, compassion and love for others as we navigate a new administration together. Remembering our call to care for others...and to work for justice and peace in all the earth.