Rev. Betty E. Landis, Saint Stephen in Silver Spring, MD
Scripture: 2 [May] their hearts … be encouraged and united in love, so that they may have all the riches of assured understanding and have the knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ himself, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. ….6 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your livesin him, 7 rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. Colossians 2: 2, 6-7 (NRSV)
Reflection: We have heard for weeks: “make a plan to vote”. Now what? Without final results and with so much rancor, we may be tempted to check-out. However, if we think back to those early weeks of the pandemic, we were able to take each day as it came. Even with all the pandemic impediments, we just shattered records for voter turn-out. We found the will and the way despite the bone-weariness.
We may not know the results for some time. Yet, we must face the continued deep divides in our families, workplaces, and congregations. We all long to “be encouraged and united in love”. Yesterday, someone shared a hopeful example where, even though a like-a-daughter-friendship had been so strained during the election season, it is tentatively, slowly starting to be reshaped. Will it be the same as before? Probably not. Is it possible it will be a deeper, more generous, and more loving relationship? Absolutely!
Maybe each of us can take a little time in this post-election holding pattern to “make a plan to unite”? This does not mean a superficial phone call or an unhealthy reunion. This plan includes the deep will and work to: listen to one another, better understand the hurt perceived, embrace the struggle of finding common ground, and commit to forging and traveling a new path of healing together.
United in Christ Jesus, we have been given all we need. As Paul wrote long ago: “continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith… abounding in thanksgiving”. Often a mystery to us, Christ Jesus holds the treasure of wisdom and knowledge and clothes us “with love, which binds everything together” (Col. 3:14). May your hearts be encouraged and united in love!
Silence for Meditation
Questions to Ponder:
What if every member of our Metro DC Synod made a plan to unite and repair just one relationship broken/strained/damaged during this election cycle?
If you are not ready to approach that person, can you pray for the person, your relationship, and God’s help in preparing you to make a plan?
What ways are congregations uniquely positioned to foster a “Make a Plan to Unite” effort?
O God, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (ELW Evening Prayer p. 317)