Pray. Vote. Pray.

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Today marks the end of a long and extraordinarily divisive election season. Today Americans go to the polls and decide who our next president will be. This is one of our highest civic duties and, this year in particular, one whose outcome will set us on starkly different paths.

So today, pray. Then vote. Then pray some more (St. Peter’s is having a brief service of prayer and reflection at 8 p.m. this evening). Because whatever happens today we have work to do tomorrow. On Sunday we baptized a baby and an adult. As we spoke the baptismal covenant, I was once again reminded who we are and whose we are—what our call is. It is to “seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself” and it is to “strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being.” It is to be agents of God’s peace and justice in a broken and hurting world, to care for the lost, the lonely, the sick, the stranger, the immigrant, the outcast. It is to recognize that all, without exception, are beloved children of God. It is to love our neighbor, our friend, our enemy alike; to greet all as Christ. And it is to mirror the self-giving love of the One who was willing to die rather than capitulate to the power-mad system of the world. This call is true no matter who is president, or who controls Congress. The specifics of the work may differ depending which path we walk as a nation, but the call is the same. So whatever happens today, tomorrow we carry on with this work that God has given us to do.

And we do so knowing that our life, all life and all time, is in God’s hands. Knowing that the arc of the universe bends inextricably towards good—even and especially when we don’t see it—because the universe is held in God. We do it because we are an Easter people. We believe that good, that God, always has the last word. Yes, there is no short-cut around Good Friday—the world is full of Good Fridays. And yet the world is full of the promise, the hope of Easter.

My sisters and brothers, we have work to do. Work of reconciling, healing, serving, and loving. Hard work. So today; pray, vote, pray. And tomorrow; pray, work, pray. And on Sunday gather with us again in community to be fed, strengthened, to go forth and face whatever life brings, doing whatever work you are called to do, knowing that God is with you and God loves you. For you and for our nation: May God bless you and keep you. May God’s face shine upon you. May God look upon you with favor, and give you peace.