Post-Election Thoughts from Pastor Rich

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I left Sonoma last Wednesday, 11/2, and while sitting in Istanbul airport on the way home, I feel it’s not the same place I left. The most contentious, bitter and nasty election in memory is now history. Some of us in Sonoma are celebrating the results, but given our demographics, probably more of us are shocked, hurt, and finding that the hurt is quickly turning to anger. I’ll admit, I’m among the latter, yet I cannot afford the luxury of bitterness that lashes out. Ultimately, as Christians, we all answer to a higher power which transcends party affiliation, choice of candidate(s), leaf blowers, or any other political issue which can turn brother against brother and sister against sister. I sincerely appreciate our own Madeline Jaycox’s admonition to her peers on Facebook to treat all with respect.
For me, I’m reminding myself of our essential St. Andrew mantra – keeping the main thing the main thing. Jesus’ invitation to follow Him – to love God and my neighbor as myself – has not changed and remains the organizing principle of my life. That means Micah’s timely is the guide for my life:
The LORD has told us what is good. What he requires of us is this: to do what is just, to show constant love, and to walk humbly with our God. (Micah 6:8)
 
Last week I was asked by someone grieving a great loss how they could move forward with their life. My response to them is applicable here, and applies to all of us no matter where we stand politically. The full Serenity Prayer, not just the “lite” version used by 12-step groups, is the prayer that lights my way. Rooted in the core truths and principles of the Bible, it represents the wisdom of many “saints” who have experienced all the ups and downs of life. So, I offer it to all of us as our shared prayer…
Prayer for Serenity
God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time,
enjoying the hardship as a pathway to peace;
taking, as Jesus did,
this sinful world as it is,
not as I would have it;
trusting that You will make all things right
if I will surrender to your will;
so that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with You forever in the next.
Amen.
Your brother in Christ,
Rich
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