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It’s Working! It’s Working! 

I hear a high number of despairing remarks about our political landscape these days. I’m not confident saying that it’s higher than every past year, but the level of contempt and despair voiced, especially among my sisters and brothers in the faith, feels significant. 

Now I do heartily agree that some of the comments soaking up the airwaves, especially on the political scene, are sentiments I’d rather not adopt. A presidential candidate suggesting that we should “ban all Muslims from entering the US” grieves my understanding of the freedom of religion we hold dear. And it is fascinating how “socialism” has become a viable political epithet, when within memory it got one blackballed. We live in interesting times. 

These kinds of extremities make many people around me exclaim in anger, sigh in despair, or huff in contempt. And if you’re one of those, let me say: There is good news! 

It’s working! Hallelujah! 

We live in a society in which anyone can say anything (short of slander or direct threat of harm). We participate in a society chock full of ideas—timid and crazy, exciting and blasé—voiced by people unafraid that their satire will land them in jail (as in Egypt), their unorthodoxy will have them executed (as in Syria), or their cry for justice will get them disappeared (as in Colombia). 

What’s more, as this particular season reminds us, when we find the blathering of one candidate too much for us to bear, we can vote for another one! Need I remind us that our system of voting is an exciting new experiment on the world stage? (No, of course I don’t.) 

Please don’t hear me announcing that our present society has reached perfection. I am poignantly aware of the many imperfections, injustices, and imbicilities that haunt our slice of the geopolitical landscape. But let not the gap between us and the dream diminish our awareness of what has come before—and where we could still be! Freedom of speech and the right to vote—It’s working! People are speaking freely and being moved to action based on that speech. It’s working! 

But wait—there’s more! Precisely at this nexus of history, where unbridled freedom to speak meets concern about the future; precisely in this time when fatigue with the free-for-all shouting meets wonder about a better world; precisely at this point where unmooring politics intersects with a desire for some anchor, some rock on which to stand; precisely here is the opportunity for our Word of Hope in Jesus Christ. 

We are allowed to speak—Hallelujah! People grasp for some firm foundation of life—Hallelujah! People want a Messiah, a Savior, someone who will chart a path to some sort of security—Hallelujah! Praise the Lord, because into this mosh pit of ideas and desires we have the opportunity to offer what we have experienced and love so dear: 

Life. 

Peace. 

Abundance. 

Jesus Christ. 

The moment is here: Speak freely! 

~ emrys tyler

SVP Cabinet Chair 2016

 

 "The Presbytery of Susquehana Valley

lives to serve and encourage congregations 

as we together seek to be faithful

in our calling to Jesus Christ."

 

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