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January 13, 2021

This is the latest installment of The Resistance Prays devotional series God With Us. 
House Impeaches Trump A 2nd Time, Citing Insurrection At U.S. Capitol – via NPR
Ah, you who join house to house,
            who add field to field,
   until there is room for no one but you,
            and you are left to live alone
            in the midst of the land! 
The LORD of hosts has sworn in my hearing:
   Surely many houses shall be desolate,
            large and beautiful houses, without inhabitant.
Therefore Sheol has enlarged its appetite
            and opened its mouth beyond measure;
   the nobility of Jerusalem and her multitude go down,
            her throng and all who exult in her. 
   People are bowed down, everyone is brought low,
            and the eyes of the haughty are humbled. 
But the LORD of hosts is exalted by justice,
            and the Holy God shows himself holy by righteousness. 
   Then the lambs shall graze as in their pasture,
            fatlings and kids shall feed among the ruins.
Ah, you who drag iniquity along with cords of falsehood,
            who drag sin along as with cart ropes, 
   who say, “Let him make haste,
            let him speed his work
            that we may see it;
   let the plan of the Holy One of Israel hasten to fulfillment,
            that we may know it!”
Ah, you who call evil good
            and good evil,
   who put darkness for light
            and light for darkness,
   who put bitter for sweet
            and sweet for bitter! 
Ah, you who are wise in your own eyes,
            and shrewd in your own sight! 
Ah, you who are heroes in drinking wine
            and valiant at mixing drink, 
   who acquit the guilty for a bribe,
            and deprive the innocent of their rights! 
Therefore, as the tongue of fire devours the stubble,
            and as dry grass sinks down in the flame,
   so their root will become rotten,
            and their blossom go up like dust;
   for they have rejected the instruction of the LORD of hosts,
            and have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.
—Isaiah 5:8-9, 14-24
A week ago, on Epiphany, if you didn’t realize the crisis the United States has been in, it was certainly revealed in an obvious and ugly light. Today, history has been made as the House votes for of impeachment of the sitting president, for the second time. It is not a “victory for Democrats” as some Republicans (even some who voted for impeachment) have called it – it is a tragedy for our democracy.
It is a tragedy that we have had to impeach a president not once, but twice. It is a tragedy that this president has so abused his power that he committed many more impeachable offenses than he has been charged for – as Rep. Hakeem Jeffries said, “Donald Trump is a living, breathing impeachable offense.” It is a tragedy that, because Republicans are so afraid of losing power this president has not been held accountable – in a real impeachment trial, in rebukes of his racist and ill-informed policies, in public statements, in their media, or from within the Republican Party. It is a tragedy that ordinary democratic action and honorable behavior is labeled as “radical” and needs a defense, much less real attempts at necessary change.
Our country is bound up in the sin of white supremacy and patriarchy. White people have bound themselves to systems and rhetoric that keeps us in power and privilege. We have bound up people of color, especially the descendants of those enslaved and women of color, holding them back so that we could remain ahead and on top.
We could be a true beacon of freedom and opportunity if we could face our past, name our many sins, and seek to become different; and become a place where all could thrive. It would not be easy. It would require a lot of time, energy, and humility on the part of my fellow white U.S. Americans. It would require a complete overhaul of systems that have held people back, and the creation of new systems that would support and encourage all people in the United States to thrive-- to thrive not at the expense of others.
Many people are not ready for so much truth. We are afraid of what will happen. We use vague words and platitudes (or outright lies) to avoid the discomfort that the truth brings. We have seen this sort of rhetoric used by many Republicans in today’s impeachment debate, as well as and over many years from all kinds of people. Isn’t the idea of a country, that actually lives up to the values we proclaim in our Declaration of Independence and Constitution worth being honest and uncomfortable for? If we continue down this path of falsehoods without addressing our rotten roots, we will just find destruction.
As people of faith, we should be well-prepared for the kind of difficult truth-telling repentance and reconciliation require. May our prayers guide our hearts and feet as we have these necessary confessions and conversations and help others to do so as well.
Now that the House of Representatives has voted to impeach Donald Trump again, it is time for the Senate to do their duty. Mitch McConnell has indicated that he won’t call the Senate back into session until January 19th at the earliest, but senators can pressure him to call them back earlier, so:
Call and write your Senators:
  • Ask them to request that Mitch McConnell call the Senate back into session and urge their colleagues to do the same.
  • Urge them to vote to convict Donald Trump at the Senate trial so that he cannot hold any further political office and to strip any remaining benefits of the presidency from him as he remains a clear and present danger even out of office.
  • If your senator (like mine – Ted Cruz) has participated in inciting this sedition and violent insurrection and/or voted against the certification of electoral votes last Wednesday, tell them to resign.
True God from True God – you have created us to be more than we have been. We have been living small lives and existences, not living into the potential you gave us and holding others back from their true potential as well. You have come to give us abundant life – a life not filled with mere things, but with wonder, community, love, mystery. Help us seek out that abundant life, and share it with your whole creation. In Jesus’ holy and wondrous name, amen.
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