Lection Connection

November 22, 2020: Do You See Me?

From Sandra Rooney

 

The United States has just come through a very tumultuous election. It has been a very fraught time, with feelings on both sides high. People have expressed fears and anxiety and there has been much harsh rhetoric. There is still harsh rhetoric, but there are also words of compassion and hope. With President Joe Biden, not only will policies change, but tone as well. We anticipate there will be more effort to address the needs and concerns of those on the fringes of society, those bearing the brunt of today’s economic circumstances as well as the corona virus, and a recognition that, indeed, Black Lives Do Matter. Biden won in an election with more votes ever cast on a presidential ticket in the history of the nation, 74 million, but it was not the landslide some had hoped for.

 

In his acceptance speech, Biden said, “It is time to put away the harsh rhetoric, lower the temperature, see each other again, listen to each other again, and to make progress; we have to stop treating our opponents as an enemy. They are not our enemies: They are Americans – they are Americans.” He listed the “battles” the country faces: to control the virus, build prosperity, secure health care for all, achieve racial justice and root out systemic racism, save the planet, restore decency, defend democracy, and give everyone in this country a fair shot. “It’s time for our better angels to prevail,” he said.

 

Political commentator Van Jones wiped away tears when CNN called the U.S. election for Joe Biden. What he said underscores the significance of this election, especially for people of colour. “It’s easier to be a parent this morning. It’s easier to be a dad. It’s easier to tell your kids character matters.” “‘I can’t breathe,’ isn’t just George Floyd,” he said, “but a whole lot of people.” People who have “just been trying to hold it together.”

 

The analyses of this election will go on for a long time. Rob Gleason, a former chairman of the Pennsylvania Republican Party, who lives in Johnstown, PA, once a steel-making centre that is now “bleeding population” and struggling, expresses how many Trump supporters feel. “The people here still feel forgotten,” he said. “I can’t tell you how many people are saying, “Trump’s saying what I’ve been thinking all my life.”

 

Explore…Matthew 25:31–46

  • How do you respond to rephrasing today’s familiar scripture passage as “Do you see me?”
  • Who are the people today who are asking, “Do you see me? Do you hear me?”
  • Are there ways that you individually, or your faith community, might respond to those whom Jesus described as “the least of these”? Those asking, “Do you see me?” “Do you hear me?

 

Prayer…

In the words of a familiar hymn we pray: Open our eyes that we may see, open our ears that we may hear, open our hearts that we may serve the lonely, the lost, the hungry, the thirsty and the sick, those in prison, those left behind in our societies. Amen.

 

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