“Now is a time…”: A post-election message from Bishop Gates

The Rt. Rev. Alan M. Gates, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, this morning issued the following message to the diocesan community:

Our national election is behind us, leaving in its wake a legacy of bitterness and hostility.  For some, alienation is the apparent reason for the election’s outcome; for others alienation is its result.  In either case, we face grievous division and manifest anxiety.

At our recent Diocesan Convention I cited the hazard of viewing the world in terms of winners and losers–a framework which propels us inexorably towards adversarial relationships, and self-concern over communal well-being.

Now is not a time to live out habitual behaviors of winners or losers.  Now is a time to rededicate ourselves to the Christian ideal of breaking down the dividing walls of hostility which divide us (Ephesians 2:14).  Now is a time to rededicate ourselves to the American ideal of liberty and justice for all.

Forbearance is a virtue tested not when we are in harmony, but when we are divided.  Sacrifice is a discipline called for not in the face of prosperity but in the face of adversity.  Hope is a manifestation of faith rendered meaningful not by certainty but by anxiety.  Christ calls us, in this moment, individually and communally, to forbearance, sacrifice and hope.

May the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing through the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)

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