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The Resistance Prays

December 24, 2018
By Rev. Shelley Donaldson

Today's Top Story
Today, Christians around the world today wait in anticipation for Christmas morning: the day we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, God made flesh, who came into our world to fulfill God’s promise and share the good news of God’s radical love. While Christians wait, so do government workers, many of them are forced to work unpaid as our government partially shuts down (CNN) because of Trump’s childish desire for a southern border wall to keep out the least of these.
Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel,
   you who lead Joseph like a flock!!
You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth
   before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh.
Stir up your might,
   come and save us!
Restore us, O God;
   let your face shine, that we may be saved.
O Lord God of hosts,
   how long will you be angry with your people’s prayers?
You have fed them with the bread of tears,
   and given them tears to drink in full measure.
You make us the scorn of our neighbors;
   our enemies laugh among themselves.
Restore us, O God of hosts;
   let your face shine, that we may be saved.

- Psalm 80:1-7
More Childish Trump Tantrums
Waiting is the name of the game across the board. As Christians await the birth of Christ, thousands of Americans await the ending of Trump’s government shutdown. Deemed as being “essential,” over 420,000 workers are being forced to continue working without pay this holiday season (and over 380,000 are forced to take unpaid leave). All this to bring our government to a near standstill as Trump holds out for his wall like a child holds his breath to try and get his way. But it’s the American people whose oxygen supply is being cut off, not Trump’s.
In the midst of all this I am reminded of Psalm 80, a communal cry from Israel for restoration from God. The Psalmist begs for restoration from God from the current afflicted state they find themselves in. Like the Israelites, the American people cry aloud for Trump and the GOP to end the suffering and a shutdown that is based on fear-mongering and pride. As long as Trump and the GOP hold their breath, they cut off the oxygen supply of American government workers during one of the most crucial times of the year.
Hear me out.
Our culture has taught us to avoid talking about difficult topics such as religion and politics in mixed company or with family. Really, we should have been taught how to have conversations about these things! This year, instead of ignoring them, if your family agrees to some basic terms of discussion, talk about them! The Family Dinner Project is a great place with some tips about how to have hard conversations with family members around the table. Waiting around for our political leaders to end the shutdown won’t do anything, so start the conversation in your own home if your family agrees. You never know what it could lead to.

Remember that above all else, our job as Christians is to love one another, so have these conversations with love towards the people you’re talking to.
God of waiting, while the Advent and Christmas seasons are meant to be times of anticipation and excitement, for many they are times of stressful waiting. Bring about relief for those who are left at the mercy of our leaders. Help us to be part of the conversation in our own homes so that we might change hearts to recognize the harmful things happening in our country. Amen.
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