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November 7, 2020
Bishop Latrelle Easterling
“These are the words I offered during the opening of the Prayer Vigil for National Unity and Justice on Wednesday evening. I share them here as we now know the outcome of the election. They are more true today.”

Achieving National Unity and Justice
By Bishop LaTrelle Miller Easterling

What does it mean that we have gathered under the rubric of national unity and justice? How do we achieve national unity when we are a nation of such broad diversity: diversity of cultures, ethnicities, languages, socio-economic statuses, beliefs, religions and affiliations? How do we unite under such a broad umbrella and understand what justice looks like therein? Our nation is still in its infancy. This great experiment called the United States of America is still becoming. There has not been another collective on earth that has tried such a bold undertaking. What will it take for us to be unified and to seek justice?

It will take humility.
It will take sacrifice.
It will take selflessness.
It will take love.

Calling for unity as we seek justice requires an understanding of the needs of others and not placing our own needs above the collective good. It means being satisfied with our daily bread as we ensure others have daily bread as well. It means not just recognizing those on the margins, but working to eradicate the margins. Seeking unity and justice means working to dismantle all systems of oppression, privilege and division, even if we are benefitting from those systems ourselves. And, for people of faith, it means humbling ourselves and meaning from the depths of our souls – thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Whoever is declared the winner we have so much work to do. We have so many wounds to heal. We have so much human carnage to care for. We have so much collective harm to repent of. We have so much devastation to clear away. We have so much repentance and reconciliation and forgiveness to live into. We have so much decency and civility and humanity to restore. We have so much work to do, people of God!

And, we are the ones called to do it. We cannot be lost to hatred. We cannot be lost to racism and nationalism and colonialism and homophobia and xenophobia and ableism and any other form of privilege and supremacy. We are the ones called to be repairers of the breach. We are the people born of the death and resurrection of a sinless Messiah who have committed ourselves to be the gospel in motion. We have made this commitment voluntarily.

And, so we live into this moment shedding a bit more of self and living a bit more into the beloved community. Ensuring that we have enough love within us to love even the unloveable. Ensuring that if we take to the streets we will be a non-violent presence. It means being willing and able to look hatred in the face and still see the face of God. Not because we are naive. Not because we are weak. Not because we fear retribution. But because we know what is required of us: to do justice, to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God. That is a strength stronger than steel. That is who we are. Amen.