One of my favorite Bible Stories is the story of King David dancing in the street naked. Buck. Naked. Our English translation, as usual, masks that little fact, but it’s there. He was SO HAPPY and SO GRATEFUL, he stripped down and let it go! If you don’t know the story, take a look, 2 Samuel 6:14-22.
Saturday my family gathered around the TV to watch the acceptance speeches from our Vice-President and President-Elect. Yes, I cried. But before I cried we listened to the talking heads and watched a motorcade make its way through through the interstate and through a car rally of a baseball stadium. I had seen street celebrations all over the country and as I watched my anxiety rose watching the crowds while COVID numbers are spiking. That is not a condemnation if you were in the streets, just where I am.
But as I watched, I noticed it wasn’t just the pandemic … well, in that moment I was honest about the fact that I didn’t feel like dancing in the streets.
Throughout the last several months of the campaign there was a lot of talk about an “enthusiasm gap.” Commentary, from Trump himself, polls, and media about how Trump supporters were off the charts enthusiastic for him and the Democratic Party was not having the same feelings.
On election day I went for a hike with a dear friend and mother figure and we talked about this. It’s not just that Trump supporters are super enthusiastic about their candidate, which honestly looks a lot more like the sin of worshiping an idol then enthusiasm, but let’s go with enthusiasm. This isn’t about Biden himself, or Trump for that matter, then men. This is about something else, something larger.
I don’t need to go into detail about the state of the world nor the state of our country, but here’s some highlights. Over a million people across the globe are died, a quarter of a million of those here in the US and many of those deaths needless. Over 500 children have been illegally separated from their parents and have been living behind chained length fences in warehouses, which I don’t think is inappropriate to call a prison, strike that, US prisoners have more rights and nicer facilities. They’re in hell. People of Color still, after 400 years killed in the streets in broad daylight without repercussions and measures against the environment are being rolled back on a daily basis. There’s more but I’m crying and need to stop.
And you ask for me enthusiasm?
Listen, I want this current administration out just as much as anyone who is shouting and singing in the streets, it’s not about my relief, my gratitude, or even my continued anxiety.
This moment though, deserves my reverence, it deserves my determination, it deserves my time and attention.
Because this is not the end, this is the beginning. The work is just beginning. To each their own, honestly, I admit I wish I was enthused, I wish I was relieved, I wish I was confident this is actually happening. Maybe I’ll feel that way at the end of January. I can hope and pray.
I won’t stretch this metaphor too far, but when Jesus ascended at the end of the Gospel of Luke, the disciples went to the temple to pray. Now was their time. I am not comparing the President-Elect to Jesus Christ, at best the comparison may be to Peter, but we are the disciples for sure in this metephore.
So join me in the temple, join me in prayer. Until the end of January let’s follow the example of the disciples and take this as a moment of reverence, rest up, and prepare for the work ahead.
And since we have to gather virtually to have “church” these days, allow me to bring you some soul sustaining spirit through a song by my dear friend Bec Cranford, from Unco unconference in 2015.
The Reverend Shannon Meacham (@revmeach) currently serves Ashland Presbyterian Church in the Baltimore suburbs. She lives there with her husband Derrick Weston and together they raise their four children. You can find her musings about any and all subjects on her personal blog, Pulpit Shenanigans, or listen to Pub Theology Live podcast, of which she is a co-host.
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