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The Resistance Prays

October 4, 2018
By Rev. Posey Krakowsky

Today's Top Story
Adam Serwer writes in the Atlantic: “President Trump and his supporters find community by rejoicing in the suffering of those they hate and fear.” Serwer ties together the cruelty of this administration's policies with the taunting words of disparagement and disdain that the president and his enablers employ on those they attack. The laughter and applause of the crowds at Trump’s rallies remind us that cruelty creates a sense of community and shared values - a belonging that Trump’s ardent supporters may find nowhere else. Serwer continues: “It is not just that the perpetrators of this cruelty enjoy it; it is that they enjoy it with one another. Their shared laughter at the suffering of others is an adhesive that binds them to one another, and to Trump.”
Scripture 

Celebrant: The Lord be with you.

People: And also with you.

Celebrant: Lift up your hearts!

People: We lift them to the Lord!

Celebrant: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

People: It is right to give God thanks and praise.

The Sursum Corda - ancient beginning of the Eucharistic liturgy

“We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. For in hope we were saved.” - Romans 8

What Kind of Community Do We Want to See?
Walking near Trump Tower in Manhattan the other day, I had a dream of how I wanted our democracy to be in the future. I had a vision of what should happen to Trump Tower when this is presidency is over - a dream of the Kin-dom and the kind of community that would bind us not through cruelty, shaming, and domination, but through love and generosity, through caring and respect.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if Trump Tower became a resource center with safe housing for homeless kids, women and men who are getting away from abusive partners, immigrants seeking asylum, LGBTQ youth, people recovering from addiction, and others in need of a haven? Can’t you imagine how beautiful that would be - to take the stone-and-concrete building that represents and embodies Trump’s ego and turn it into a place for safety and community, particularly for the people he has worked so hard to destroy?

Does it matter that this actual dream will not come true? I don’t think so. Because naming these dreams, setting these intentions, creating a counter-narrative that aims high - these are all ways to build community and to Lift Up Our Hearts. 

As Michelle Alexander wrote recently in the New York Times, “Resistance is a reactive state of mind. While it can be necessary for survival and to prevent catastrophic harm, it can also tempt us to set our sights too low and to restrict our field of vision to the next election cycle, leading us to forget our ultimate purpose and place in history.”

Naming and describing the kind of democracy we aspire to achieve is a powerful and necessary way to create community, to supply the adhesive that binds us together. Resistance is key, but so are telling stories and dreaming dreams. Stories of hope and change. Dreams of ingathering, not excluding. Testimonies of resurrection. Isn’t that what we Christians are called to do?
Act
Start taking time to dream, and then share your ideas with others. What should the next iteration of American democracy look like?

It’s possible that things are going to get worse before they get better. In anticipation of this, let’s start lifting each other up. Share your stories and dreams with younger folks - remind them that the actions of this administration are not normal and are not what the founders of our democracy envisioned. Help them create and hold on to the dream of what we wish to become.

Because, who knows? Perhaps if we offer a new vision of community, those who currently find common ground in cruelty will soften their hearts and realize that there is another way. They too are made in the image and likeness of God.
Pray
I cannot tell you
how the light comes.

What I know
is that it is more ancient
than imagining.

That it travels
across an astounding expanse
to reach us.

That it loves
searching out
what is hidden,
what is lost,
what is forgotten,
or in peril
or in pain.

That it has a fondness
for the body,
for finding its way
towards flesh,
for tracing the edges
of form,
for shining forth
through the eye,
the hand,
the heart.

I cannot tell you
how the light comes
but that it does.
That it will.
That it works its way
into the deepest dark
that enfolds you,
though it may seem
long ages in coming
or arrive in a shape
you did not forsee,

And so
may we this day
turn ourselves towards it.
May we lift our faces
to let it find us.
May we bend our bodies
to follow the arc it makes.
May we open
and open more
and open still
to the blessed light
that comes.

'How the Light Comes,' Jan Richardson, Circle of Grace (Orlando: Wanton Gospeller Press, 2015).
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