My brothers and sisters,

After a long campaign and election night, there is a mix of emotions.  Undeniably, there are those experiencing a sense of hopelessness and despair.  Others are feeling a sense of elation in the glow of political victory.  Whatever your politics or candidate, we as followers of Jesus Christ must now engage in significant and transformative actions. The first must be to heal the breach in our nation and political discourse.  Many in our country are angry; some are in tears while others are seeking retaliation.  However, as Jesus was led from the Garden, he said these words - "put away your sword" (Mt. 26:52).  The depth of meaning speaks to the heart of Jesus Christ.  As Christians, we must follow Him.

This is a moment where we are called to do something more.  We must reclaim His voice and build the Kingdom of God. Right here and now.  The only path for real change is Kingdom building through Jesus Christ.  We have repeatedly learned that humanity cannot rely on governments, politics, or candidates.  We must place our faith in Jesus Christ.  Jesus is breaking into the world at this moment.  His light will shine in the darkness.  His love will overcome hate.  His kindness will overwhelm marginalization.

This is also the moment where followers of Jesus Christ must be stronger and more faithful than before.  There are children of God who are scared; let
's embrace them.  We have brothers and sisters who now feel excluded; let's open our doors to our churches. We have fellow sojourners who are despairing; let's walk with them and show them life. Christian community and unity are now the most important places of centering and strength. This is the opportunity to be the hope that has been missing in this world.  The courage that is necessary for this time of uncertainty.   We must live into the call to do those things that we are called to do:

"Then the king will say to those at his right hand, "Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me." Then the righteous will answer him, "Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?" And the king will answer them, "Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me."

Jesus is breaking into the world.  As Christians, as those who take the name of Jesus Christ, let's step boldly into the world right here and right now.  I leave you with these words:

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies.  2 Corinthians 4:8-10

May God bless you and keep you.

Bishop Gutierrez
XVI Bishop of The Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania

 

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