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?
Womanist ethicist grappling with questions about religion, justice and peace in our time.