After paying attention to all this past week’s events on the media, I can’t help but wonder: “What are we doing?” and “Where will all this lead?” I don’t know. I was grateful for the reminder from Gandhi posted on Facebook by my friend, Matt Landry: “When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won” which has also been repeated in many of our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s inspiring sermons: “And in the end, love wins!” I take great comfort in remembering this especially when I am losing focus because I can’t make sense of all that’s going on. Once again, I don’t know that it matters what political perspective one holds; all the news seems to contribute to the polarization and division of our country leaving our heads spinning. How do people without faith handle all this? It’s tough enough for those of us living for the Kingdom of God. I have found that when I feel helpless, the best thing I can do is to be faithful in prayer for all of us and reach out to others. Sitting still only adds to my anxiety; I need to do something.
I often wonder why I was born in this time and in this place. My musings lead me back to the words of Mordechai to Queen Esther: “Who knows? Perhaps you have come to royal dignity for just such a time as this” (Esther 4:14). OK… I know that I’m not royal in the earthly sense of the word but the Apostle Peter affirms that “we are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people” (I Peter 2:9a) so maybe being royalty isn’t that far off. Anyway, what I’m getting at is that perhaps we were born for such a time as this which means, like Queen Esther, we have some responsibility in assuring that others are able to share in God’s abundance.
Perhaps you recall that a couple of months ago I wrote about a movement called “For Such a Time as This” – a commitment of prayer, fasting and advocating on the 21st of each month from now until the end of 2018 when the 115th Congressional Session comes to an end. This week, I received an email from the Episcopal Public Policy Network (EPPN) reminding me that the 21st was here and there is work to be done! Here’s their reminder:
• PRAY for an end to extreme poverty and for an end to humanitarian crises, including ongoing famines, around the world.
• FAST to raise awareness of the need to respond to human suffering and hunger no matter where it takes place.
o Share on social media using #PrayFastAct and @TheEPPN.
o Post a picture of a dinner place setting with the reason you are fasting this month.
o Educate yourself by reading “Appropriations for Foreign Assistance” from the Office of Government Relations – click here.
• ACT to maintain funding support for these vital international assistance programs. You can urge your members of Congress to support these life-saving programs by filling out the info at this link. EPPN will do all the rest for you! Click here for more information.
Here’s a link to EPPN’s page of resources for you to have all the information you need to get involved and join in this important movement. There’s a great introductory video by our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry as well as one by the Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America Elizabeth A Eaton. Maybe you’ve never fasted before; they’ve got very helpful information on how to fast, too.
Here’s the link to the Nuts and Bolts Blog in May which introduced “For Such a Time as This” in case you missed it the first time around.
I know that I don’t want to sit and worry about the seemingly schizophrenic actions in our nation’s capital. I want to take that energy and do something that might make a difference for the most vulnerable of our world. Please join me in taking on this good work for God’s Kingdom.
Let us pray –
Dear God, You understand the needs of our broken world. Please guide us to share our time, talent, and wealth to help end extreme poverty that we may deeply engage in our church’s mission of global reconciliation. Amen.
(From Lifting Women’s Voices: Prayers to Change the World)
~ The Rev. Judith Schellhammer, chair, Resolution Review Committee, Diocesan Council