The Padre’s Ponderings — As I See It: The Day After

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By the time you read this blog we should know who will be our next president. As I said in my sermon last Sunday, this has been the most venomous, mean-spirited, even hateful campaign of my memory. It should be an embarrassment to a people who believe that we are a civilized, intelligent, progressive-thinking nation. So I see this as a time for repentance. Yes, that old fashioned yet very biblical word which literally means “to turn from” – to review one’s actions and feel regret for past wrongs. Repentance involves a commitment to change and the resolve to live a better and more humane life.

I share, again these sage words of Mikhail Gorbachev, eighth and last leader of the former Soviet Union:

“Only by renouncing selfishness and attempts to outsmart one another to gain an advantage at the expense of others can we hope to ensure the survival of humankind and further the development of civilization…We shall be able to accomplish our historic task of developing our inheritance, if, irrespective of our political opinions, religious beliefs, or philosophies, we try to understand and help one another.”

People of faith—no matter of what religious persuasion—all of us together need to show this country and the world that our lives, how we live them, how we treat one another, the decisions we make, and how we value and work for justice and peace reflect the ethics and integrity of the faith we profess. For those who profess to follow Jesus that requires that we take him at his word, that we take him seriously when he tells us that to follow him we must do to others what we would have them do to us. “Love one another, as I have loved you.” There were no disclaimers that came with this commandment.

The people of the United States who voted yesterday most likely have a list of the issues to which they hope their candidate would respond and find resolution. Perhaps the number one and sorely needed vocation of our new president is the arduous work of the healing of this nation. The way I see it, that begins with repentance for all of us and a resolve to never let the world see us at our worst again, never another presidential campaign as the one that has now ended. Please God!

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