Exploring Faith and Community • Macalester Plymouth United Church
November 5, 2020
Rev. Corinne Freedman Ellis
Dispatches from Thursday morning: waiting is hard.
Waiting is hard even when we know to expect it. Every Advent we await the birth of Jesus. Every Holy Saturday we sit in the dark and anticipate the joy of Easter morning. This is waiting we know to expect, yet each year it’s a struggle.
We knew that the election results would take a long time to be finalized. In the midst of such uncertainty, we knew this for sure. With so many mail-in ballots, it couldn’t have possibly gone any other way. This is waiting we knew to expect, yet it’s still a struggle.
On Wednesday morning, one of my colleague group texts continued our conversation that started the night before. The waiting was hard, we lamented because we wanted a moral victory. We wanted to be able to have faith in our country again. To trust that Americans are fundamentally good people. This vote was supposed to be a referendum on that. Wasn’t it?
Finally, a very wise colleague chimed in. She said that she was coming around a bit. And then she said something that struck me hard. “Why did I have faith in our country? My faith is in Jesus. This country was never going to be my savior.”
Where do we place our faith? Is it in an electoral system created hundreds of years ago when only white property owners were considered citizens? Is it in amorphous groups of people who voted a certain way? Is it in our own hard work? (That’s my particular sin.) Placing our faith in all these fragile things leads to disappointment, no question.
What does it look like to be a Christian in this time? No matter what the results of our local elections here in Minnesota, or the Presidential election, or any of the many races still left to call, our work is the same. Love God. Love one another. Learn and grow in that love every day. Work for a world where all people can not just have their basic needs met, but also know love and flourishing and wholeness. Work for good even when it feels futile. Trust in the promise of new life.
I don’t know when we’ll have answers, but I know that our work hasn’t changed. So grateful to be in it with all of you, beloved church! Onward with love.