I am writing this at 5:00 pm on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, on one of the darkest days in our nation’s history. I didn’t think this would happen – honestly. I thought the rioters would stop at the doors of the United States Capitol. These people were not protesters. They were terrorists. I didn’t think we would witness insurrection of this kind on our soil. I am simply flabbergasted. And aggrieved. My heart is heavy for our country.
Today is Epiphany – when the church celebrates the day the Three Wise Men met the infant Jesus. They followed the star that appeared at Jesus’ birth, brought him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, and bowed down to worship Jesus. The Magi experienced Epiphany because they came to realize that Jesus was God in human form on earth. As such, epiphany is defined as a moment of sudden revelation or insight.
Unfortunately, today’s moment of sudden revelation and insight was not positive or beautiful or magnificent. When President Trump won in 2016, I heard many people claim that Trump was God’s anointed. I never believed that. He is an amoral, vile, disgusting human being. He could not be God’s chosen. To me, Trump symbolized how the United States has idolized wealth, guns, bigotry, misogyny, racism, nationalism, ignorance, etc. Trump has been fomenting hate and rage for over four years. He tapped into the nation’s hideous underbelly. Today was the culmination of his words and conduct and those who blindly follow along.
This is a moment of reckoning. We, as a country, are selfish; we do not care for the poor and the downtrodden; we are hateful to one another; we do not try to understand someone who is different from us; we brutalize people of color; we do not love as God loves. We are lost in the wilderness. God weeps for us and wants us to ask for forgiveness of our sins as a nation. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never personally done anything wrong – we are guilty as a community, as a nation. We should be ashamed of ourselves and what we’ve become.
I do not care if you’ve traditionally called yourself a Republican or Democrat. We must all vehemently reject the violence but also the motivations that underlie and built the foundation for these terrorist acts. People love to believe that America is God’s nation. Not today. We must wake up. We must repent. We must experience an epiphany. We must learn from today. We must begin the process of digging deep into our nation’s soul and eradicate our sinful nature. We must try to show God that we are sorry and that we will try to do better. We simply must, or we will fall. God, help us. God, hear our prayer.