November 9, 2016
These are trying times. On November 8, 2016, Donald J. Trump was voted as President-elect of the United States. On November 9, after a sleepless night, I sat in morning Bible study, shell-shocked and dismayed. I worried for the undocumented in this country; for the Muslim community; for African Americans and all people of color, for women, for children. Honestly, I went to my daughter’s room and watched her sleeping, apologizing for the broken world she would inherit.
On social media and in my conversations, there is a profound sadness that is not necessarily about our next leader, but about how strongly the overtly racist, sexist, misogynist, able-ist, anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, anti-LGBTQ rhetoric was so overwhelmingly supported, and essentially, empowered. As I write this, there is a rally in New York City where the following chant is recited: “We hate Muslims, we hate Blacks; we want our great country back.”
I suspect many of us are shocked that this election cycle was enough to expose that the original sins of this country have never been healed. Instead, the wound was dressed with a cheap bandage with little adhesive. It has fallen away in the face of individualism run amok and unchecked mob frenzy.
What is our response? As a progressive, Christian faith community, it is now our obligation to accept God’s clarion call to be the Church. It is our role to accept the reality that injustice is not bitter to every lip, and that the promise of personal gain in the context of this society is louder than the voices of the vulnerable. We are called to be prophetic, to speak hope in the face of hopelessness. Plymouth Church must acknowledge that more than ever, many will look to us for a word from God in Jesus Christ. We must stand together in solidarity, and share that we will be the hands and feet of the Holy One, the face of Jesus to all our friends and neighbors. We must declare with resounding voice that Black lives matter here. Immigrant and LGBTQ lives matter here. Seniors and children matter here. Justice is alive here. Plymouth must be the voice in this wilderness.
On November 8, Donald J. Trump was voted to become the President of the United States. On this day, I pray that we commit to being the progressive Christian church, that we tend to our grief and the grief of others and that we practice self-care and extravagant love for the other. Our country can only be great when we participate for the good of all people, even if it is to our own peril. Let us take seriously our charge, and begin the work to build the authentic kin-dom of God. —Rev. Kelle Brown