How do we speak hope to one another when our hearts are breaking? When the safety of the world is at stake? When the lines of ‘us’ and ‘them’ are drawn with stark harshness?
How do we speak hope in our homes when families are ripped apart by dogma that neither gives life nor saves it? When parents and children are estranged and sisters and brothers renounce one another?
How do we speak hope when the way forward is through shadow lands, up steep inclines, and through inclement weather? When the road is covered by floodwaters? When parks are littered with monuments to hatred and the least among us is left to suffer?
How do we speak hope to a nation who is killing its own? Its own immigrants? Its own people of color? Its own queers?
Let us begin with remembering. Remembering who we are, who we strive to be, who we can imagine ourselves to be.
When I am asked how I can be a Christian in a world where the label means closed-hearted and closed-minded, I don’t deny the truth of what Christianity has become and how it has fallen far from it’s tree. Rather, I embrace the walk of Christ as a path to which I aspire and reach for what I can be.
As a nation, now is the time to embrace the tenets of our founding. Not that we have ever truly lived up to them, but that we embrace the challenge and the ideals of a nation built on the principles of justice, law, and constantly expanding rights.
Each week at communion we share the bread saying, “Remember who you are.” It is both our hope and our challenge.
Let us speak this hope to one another: Remember who we can be. Remember who we are to one another as a nation of immigrants and exiles. Remember the ideals that form us. Remember the hope and the challenge of striving to be a nation of justice and freedom.