It has been a wondrous week of political theatre. I have been able to see and hear many of the main speeches delivered during the Democratic National Convention. Persons who have given of their lives in order to be a part of our unfolding as a nation have spoken, and the affirmation of the past whilst holding a vision for the future has been moving.
Two days ago my men’s Bible Study group (average age perhaps 75) watched a DVD one of our members brought in featuring Newt Gingrich. He was lecturing on the foundations of our country: a shared belief that through our Creator, we are gifted with certain unalienable rights: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Gingrich was a strong presenter. He left his listeners with no doubt that the founders of our nation were well attuned to the power and presence of the Holy. It has long been assumed that God is present in the living of our communal life.
We talked in the men’s Bible Study about how it is that all things evolve and change. The realities of a largely white and largely Christian movement (not to mention male, since it was all “men” who were created equal) that founded our nation has changed significantly. We live in a world vastly different than that of our forebears. We are a rainbow of peoples, faiths, ethnicities and hopes. For some of us, that evokes a sense of fear and a desperate wish to return to the comfort of what was. For others of us this sense of evolving into what this nation is called to in this now is rich and exciting.
Seeing an African American man with his wife and his children brown of skin and shining of soul accept the nomination to become one of two contenders for the office of the President of the United States was a moment perhaps not even imagined by those who founded our nation.
But it happened. With a nation watching and praying and celebrating and wondering. And we hold these truths to be evident. That all are created with stunning promise and shine. And we pray that we may live into a day when we as a nation see diversity as blessing, hope as sacred, and differences as opportunity to expand our understanding.