November 9, 2016
Comments after the Election
We have just finishing a bruising and difficult election, one which has left many worried, fearful, and angry, and injured. I myself have never seen our country as divided and frustrated as it is at this moment.
This situation calls us to be aware especially of our identity and mission as the church. By virtue of Baptism we all are ambassadors of Jesus, and our mission to serve as agents of his resurrection and reconciliation.
I am convinced that we must dedicate ourselves anew to the ministry of prayer for our country and our leaders. In prayer we open ourselves to the transformative power of our Lord as we minister in our individual lives, in our churches, in our communities, and in our beloved country.
I am convinced that in our discussions with others, particularly those whose views differ from our own, we should treat them according to the command of Jesus, namely, that we love each other as he has loved us. This involves respectful and patient listening as well as charitable and sensitive expression of our ideas.
I am convinced that this election calls us to look deeply into ourselves and our congregations so that we become aware of the anger, self-interest, and racism that we harbor within and among ourselves. And then we can begin the difficult yet necessary spiritual discipline of rooting them out.
I am convinced that that we need to lift up the virtue of the common good. Our current political process has encouraged us to make public decisions on the basis of what we individually will receive. But as Christians we know that caring about the welfare of the whole community, including refugees, is part of our vocation as Christ’s people. Justice, community, and peace flow from a commitment to the common good of all who have been created by God and for whom Christ became incarnate among us.
I pray for Christ’s blessing on our country in the difficult days ahead.
C. Franklin Brookhart
Bishop of Montana
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