By Lewis Eggleston
My undergrad degree is in Political Science and I have a Master of Divinity degree, which means, if the expression is true about discussing religion and politics, I’m not allowed to speak at any dinner party.
We’ve all experienced the results if we do talk about these things, however, discussing politics & religion around the dinner table is as old as time. Remember Christ’s first miracle at the Wedding at Cana? I often wonder if Mary was listening to a political or religious debate around her table when she told Jesus, in her best mom voice, “Jesus, please make some wine”. For myself, I know wine did help with the most recent political debates.
Like many LGBTQIA+ folks, I have cherished childhood memories of my extended family around the dinner table at holidays & weddings that I thought would continue on forever, but all that changed when I came out. Going forward any extended family function I would need both Jesus & wine, and like Mary, I made my way through the event because I knew Jesus loves me too.
Do we all wish our friends and family would listen to our prophetic words and insights based on scripture, our experience, and discernment with the Holy Spirit? Of course! But also remembering, as Christ said, no one is accepted as a prophet in their hometown. Meaning, the family members who witnessed our growing up, who changed our diapers, saw us fall down and get hurt, and say some not-so-smart things will most-likely not trust our Gospel message as much as their straight (probably white male) pastor’s message. Christ understood this! Keep preaching the Good News regardless.
Deciding to be our full authentic selves, similar to articulating our call to ministry, accepting & living into where God is calling us, is a political act. Christ never said, “I came to maintain the status quo. Keep doing everything you’re already doing.” The Gospels are stories about people with changed hearts & minds, and they point to a God desiring abundant lives for all of humanity. Faithful, authentic, honest, gracious, loving people who desire to walk-arm-in-arm with the least of these.
Let us pray,
Gracious God, our spirits are heavy. Our minds comprehend the scripture verse, “there is nothing new under the sun,” that disease, tyranny, & racism have existed and decimated our world before. God of Creation, we ask for the strength to soften hardened hearts, that minds may be opened to the beauty of the earth and of your creation that is still being created. May we enter the voting booths with Love, Joy, & Hope for a future that is abundant & fruitful for all your creation and let us all come out of the voting booth, like Christ came out of the tomb, with a desire to share the Good News and make the world a better place. We ask these things in your Holy name, Amen.
Lewis Eggleston (he/him/his) is the Associate Director of Development & Communications for ELM. He is a candidate for the Ministry of Word & Service and he resides in Kaiserslautern, Germany with his husband Mitchell and dog-child, Carla.