Jesus said in Matthew 5:43-44
‘You have heard that it was said,
“You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.”
But I say to you,
Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,…’
That is why, in the Prayers of the People today we will pray,
“Be with Donald Trump and Mike Pence as they take office
and may they work for the common good…”
It might be tough language (enemies and persecutors), but these are tough-times. Today at this baptism we will renew our Baptismal Covenant and promise to do the very things that Donald Trump has vowed to tear apart.
- We will… continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, and in so doing we will repent when necessary.
- We will… proclaim by word and example the good news of God in Christ and by doing so we will… seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbour as ourselves, be they Muslim or atheist, gay or straight.
- We will… strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being.
- We will not deny climate change and we will strive to safeguard the integrity of God’s creation, and respect, sustain and renew the life of the Earth.
We will, I hope and pray, see diversity as the divine blessing that it is, and welcome immigration and refugees.
We will see ourselves, as Christian people, as less interested in converting others to our way as inviting them to be people of faith, to be people of compassion [in their own way].
We will stand up for the rights of people of colour.
We will stand up for the rights of people who are different.
We will stand up for the rights of people with disabilities
– people who are poor
– people who are disenfranchised or silenced in any way.
We will stand up for the rights of women to continue to have autonomy over their own bodies.
It seems stupid to even have to say any of this… but today, silence is not an option. And so, Donald Trump will remain foremost in my prayers… but prayer is not enough… action is also required. I expect us to continue to be a people of welcome, encouraging compassion, respect and love for each and every one God has created.