What time is it? A simple question when asked during the day. A not so simple question when asked at this moment following this election.
What time is it? At this moment, do I turn to Ecclesiastes 3? Or, might I turn to Genesis 1? Or, what about Matthew 6?
When I turn to Ecclesiastes 3, I am not sure what I want to make of the opening line: “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” That opening line introduces a parallelism of times: “a time to break down, a time to build up;” “a time to seek, a time to lose;” “a time to keep silence, a time to speak;” “a time to love, a time to hate;” and “a time for war, a time for peace.” These are a few of the times that are poignant for me right now. Which time is it?
When I turn to Genesis 1, I am reassured by the activity of God to create a universe that includes human beings as one aspect of God’s Creation that is declared good. Thus, I hold this present moment in time in the moments of God’s creating, and I take the seventh day Sabbath pause of Genesis 2:1-4, suspended in the divine moment of God’s rest from the labor of Creation. Isn’t God still creating?
When I turn to Matthew 6, I am drawn to verses 7-14 where the Lord’s prayer is offered as the section concludes with the admonition to forgive others their trespasses. Likewise, verses 25-34 remind me to release anxiety about what is and is to come: “So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” How shall I lean into today’s trouble?
As a person of faith, as a preacher of the Gospel, as a theological educator, as an African American, as a Womanist ethicist, I want to offer some Word, some thought, some ethical insight that can help us to live into this present moment with moral courage. But, I offer only this: We need one another to live into this moment with moral courage. With whom are you in solidarity for answering the call to choose a time that is most likely to engender a just peace? Who are your creative partners for doing the difficult work of re-creating of racial/ethnic, sexual/gender, and economic justice that lies ahead? Are you ready to acknowledge today’s trouble daily and work to transform that trouble from sun up to sun down?
What time is it?