Delivered at First Church in Sterling
by Rev. Robin Bartlett
at Post-Election Communion Service
November 9, 2016
“All Are One”
Last week during the All Saints worship service we sang the song “For All the Saints.” We belted out the words “all are one in thee for all are thine.” All are one in God for all of us belong to God. That's just as true today as it was yesterday. We've just forgotten.
We have forgotten to whom we belong. We don't belong to a country, or a presidential candidate or a government. We belong to each other, and to God who is love. There is neither Christian nor Jew, male nor female, Republican nor democrat, for all are one in Christ Jesus.
ALL are one.
This is an incredibly ideologically diverse community here at First Church. That is our greatest strength. That we can come together in the love of truth and the spirit of Jesus to UNITE for the worship of God and the service of humankind.
And one of the great gifts of unity across diversity is our capacity for empathy for one another.
So you need to know this as an empathic people who desire to unite: regardless of who you voted for, regardless of whether you are rejoicing or weary from getting the wind knocked out of you by these election results, I need to ask you to reach out to your neighbors who are in mourning today. That is how we love God with all of our hearts, our souls, our minds and with all of our strength—we love our neighbors as ourselves.
Because beloved, regardless of who you supported in the election, your neighbors are terrified today. I know because I have spent the entire day with your neighbors. My children woke up sobbing this morning, afraid that they would get bullied at school today. Women who have been triggered from past sexual assault are terrified today. Our children of color are terrified today. The Worcester Islamic Center is terrified today. People who live in fear of losing their health insurance are terrified today.
And yes, our scripture reminds us “do not be afraid, for the Lord is with you.” But the only way that we alleviate fear is if we show up for each other. So reach out to your neighbors. They need to know you will stand against the rhetoric of this election, regardless of who you voted for. Stand up for them.
Our Muslim neighbors scared of being deported need to know that Christians will stand up for them.
Our LGBTQ neighbors scared that their marriage won’t mean anything in all 50 states anymore need to know that Christians will stand up for them.
Our women who have survived sexual assault triggered by the casual way in which their trauma was referred to need to know that Christians will stand up for them.
Our troops, our veterans and our gold star families insulted and maligned need to know that Christians will stand up for them.
Immigrants, both documented and non-documented, refugees who are our neighbors, need to know that Christians will stand up for them.
Black and brown folks who fear their lives don't matter need to know that Christians will stand up for them.
Our children who are listening to all of this need to know that we will stand up for them.
The only way to dissolve all fear and mourning is to be together. To know one another, and to love one another. All are one in thee for all are thine. Alleluia.
Beloved, this may be Caesar’s week, but this is God’s world. In the end, Love *will* climb up out of the grave and win. Amen.
Rev. Robin Bartlett is the Senior Pastor at the First Church in Sterling, Massachusetts. www.fcsterling.org