A New Era for Our Nation

“You are only as beautiful as the many beautiful things you do for others without expectation.” – Janelle Monae, 21st century

Dear Members and Friends,

As of 12 noon today, January 20, we have a new President of the United States of America, Donald J. Trump.  Whether you rejoice at his inauguration or whether you have serious doubts and concerns about the future under his leadership, almost everyone agrees it is a new era for this nation.  Many, many people are gravely concerned.  Those concerns may be warranted or they may not.  Many of the concerns are based on what was truly one of the most vicious, divisive, antagonistic elections of modern history.  Whether it was primarily election propaganda or expressed the true spirit and heart of the man elected will be determined in the days to come.
It is important for us as people of faith to remember that our belief in the future is not tied to any given government or political leader.  Our belief is in God, Creator of the Universe, Ruler of the Cosmos, the One who is above and over all kings, principalities, and powers on this earth.  That is the source of our faith and our hope.  That is the wellspring for our action as we move into this new future.  Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourner Ministries in Washington, D.C. offers these words for people of faith on this day.  He said:
Whatever the politics are or become in Washington, D.C., it should be a time for faith to flourish, to be true to our callings and missions, to protect the poor and vulnerable, to evangelize about the genuine meaning of faith, and to lead by example with the values that make us most fully human, as God intended us to be.
And perhaps the value that our country needs most right now, in an age of almost complete cynicism about politics, is the power and promise of hope.  We can decide to spend our time, energy, and the gifts of our lives to make this a better world – for those around us, especially for those on the edges, and to be good stewards of the creation itself.  That’s who people of faith are supposed to be; that is what we are supposed to do.  And there is no better time to do that than right now.  No matter what politics says and does, it is always time for faith to flourish and move forward.
Those are good words to remind us of our calling as followers of Jesus.  Come Sunday and join me in exploring more about this calling, our special calling, from God through Jesus. 

R. Steven Hudder
Pastor, Christ Congregational United Church of Christ
Palmetto Bay, Florida