Today’s Word from Pastor Jim…

We have now checked off the 8th month of this Covid-19 pandemic. October is in the books and in just two short months we can kiss 2020 goodbye. Sadly, that will not cure all of our ills; the pandemic will not magically disappear, but psychologically it will be beneficial to look optimistically to 2021. It is also November 4; we have been waiting for this marked day on the calendar to arrive for a very long time. We have longed to have this election behind us, and we now have some hope that the accompanying uncivil discourse and middle school antics of politicians will diminish, too.

As I sit at my desk writing, it is Sunday morning, November 1. We had one worshiper show up to greet me on this All Saints Sunday. Since this is a pre-election writing, I have no idea what to expect from the week to come. I do know that most in our church family and our blood families will be voting, some will vote blue and some will vote red. That means that some are going to be distraught or at least disappointed by the outcome of this contentious election.

Given that reality, I offer some post-election guidance

  1. Be kind and patient with those who are anxious and crestfallen by the election results. Compassion is never out of style.
  2. There is a place for protest but there is no place in the life of a Christian for violence. The followers of Jesus should follow the teachings of Jesus. Violence is not restricted to guns and knives – most violence is verbal or, in this social media age, written. There is no place for violence among the followers of Jesus.
  3. Never tire of working for peace, justice, and the compassionate treatment of the most vulnerable in our society and those without power or voice. The Bible calls us to work “for the common good” of all people.
  4. Do not lose hope or purpose. We will survive and we can thrive no matter who is in the White House for the next four years.
  5. Look for ways to serve (difficult in a pandemic, I know) and unite our local community. The pursuit of peace, justice, and compassionate care begins at home. We have been blessed with our Whidbey Island home – let’s make it an even better place to live in the next four years.
  6. Be kind and patient with those you live with and with yourself. This pandemic has disrupted, depressed, and threatened all of us. There is more than enough grief and fear to go around. So, do not be hard on yourself, and give extra care to your family members.
  7. Do not tolerate hate! Hate of any kind is an affront to God. Hate for any group, minority, religion, or party is un-Christian and unacceptable. Deal with your own issues and do not tolerate hate in others.
  8. Be generous, get outside yourself, your own needs, and all that you perceive as lacking in your life. Be generous! God loves a cheerful giver! Generous people are happier and more fun to be around.
  9. We continue to be the church even though we are mostly isolated and apart. This pandemic will be a part of the historical record of Trinity Lutheran Church. Covid-19 will appear as a mere blip on the radar screen of our shared story. For 67 years the people of Trinity have weathered the storms of daily life and global disruption. We will get through this and we will get through this together.

The days and months ahead may be more challenging than the eight months that preceded them, but I believe with all my heart that God is with us, that the future of our church and country is bright, that the best is yet to come.

One day closer,
Pastor Jim