December 2016: Post-Election Guidance

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A Transcript of the Video Message of Rev. Elizabeth Eaton, Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

We had an election on Tuesday. Many of us woke up the next day with a sense of joy. Many of us woke up the next day with a sense of sorrow. After this long and divisive campaign, many of us woke up feeling weary. But we all woke up in the same country.

No human candidate can guarantee our life or our future. That is work that God has done through the death and resurrection of Jesus. And in baptism we are joined to Christ in that same death and resurrection.

So what do we do, dear church? Three things.

  1. Remember that all human beings are created in the image of God. Even the ones who didn’t vote for your candidate.
  2. Pray: for our country, for those elected, for understanding.
  3. And then we get back to work doing the things the church has always done. Welcome the stranger. Feed the hungry. Clothe the naked. Visit the sick and those in prison. Work for justice and peace in all the earth.

All in the name of the one who is our hope, our life, and our peace. Jesus, who has set us free to serve the neighbor.

 

A Message from Rev. Steven Delzer, Bishop of the Southeastern Minnesota Synod

Dear Colleagues in Ministry,

It seems that the election on Tuesday pointed out the reality that our nation is more divided than many thought. As I’ve reflected on how to respond, the words that come to mind for me are from a hymn (ELW 720) we sang in the closing worship of our Theological Conference:

Verse 1:

Come! Live in the light! Shine with the joy and the love of the Lord! We are called to be light for the kingdom, to live in the freedom of the city of God.

Refrain: 

We are called to act with justice, we are called to love tenderly;
We are called to serve one another, to walk humbly with God.

Verse 2:

Come! Open your heart! Show your mercy to all those in fear!

We are called to be hope for the hopeless so hatred and blindness will be no more.

(Refrain)

Verse 3:

Sing! Sing a new song! Sing of that great day when all will be one!

God will reign, and we’ll walk with each other as sisters and brothers united in love.

(Refrain)

In the days ahead, may we continue to declare the good news of God’s love and care for all people as seen in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, the Light of the World. And trusting in the leading of the Holy Spirit, may we continue to pray: “God, our refuge and strength, you have bound us together in a common life. In all our conflicts, help us to confront one another without hatred or bitterness, to listen for your voice amid competing claims, and to work together with mutual forbearance and respect; through Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord. Amen” (Prayer 285 from ELW Pastoral Care).

 

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