S (Scripture): John 13:20 [Jesus says to his disciples] “I tell you the solemn truth, whoever accepts the one I send accepts me, and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me.”
O (Observation): This poetic line from Jesus comes in the middle of a very disturbing moment in time. Jesus is gathered with his disciples and foretells that one in their midst will betray Jesus. But just before he brings up this accusation, he says the line I quoted above.
The disciples are those sent by Jesus. All who accept that “being sent,” therefore, accept Jesus. And as they accept Jesus (who is sending them out) they are also – at the same time – accepting God (who is sending Jesus out).
This is the hope of the disciples. They go out on more than just their own authority. They go out knowing they are backed by Jesus…and therefore, God.
A (Application): Who do we accept? What authority do we have knowing that God, and therefore Jesus, are the ones sending us out? I would hope that this connection to God gives us hope and courage.
As we continue to realize a new situation in the United States, in which Donald Trump will soon be president, we have to figure out our own callings and our connection to God.
As disciples in the world, we are to work within the government in which we live. We are to pray for our leaders and the people whom their decisions affect.
And while we work within a system of governance, we must also remain vigilant that justice and peace are that which we strive towards. If those issues are not given their due, then we have a rite and responsibility to hold accountable and challenge those in authority.
And, in all cases, we should let folks who are scared know that we stand with them in times of fear and doubt.
I have hope that we will move forward together and that God will raise up leaders and prophets, should there be such a need over these next 4 years.
P (Prayer): Prayer of the day for ELCA, 26th Sunday after Pentecost, 11/13/2016: “O God, the protector of all who trust in you, without you nothing is strong, nothing is holy. Embrace us with your mercy, that with you as our ruler and guide, we may live through what is temporary without losing what is eternal, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.” Amen.