Our nation has been through a turbulent time over these past few weeks. Besides the ongoing pandemic that threatens to be with us indefinitely, we have witnessed an attempt at an insurrection of our federal government and the ongoing political, social and economic divisions within our society. Often when we look for “light at the end of the tunnel” it seems like the tunnel keeps right on going. In the midst of this we as the people of faith must have an answer to offer in this time of uncertainty. We can get caught up in all the ongoing turmoil or we can offer ways to rise above it and seek the wisdom of God. The Wyoming Interfaith Network is made up of folks from a variety of faith traditions. We must use our traditions and wisdom to offer comfort in a time of national distress. I can only speak for the Episcopal Church tradition of which I am a part. We are presently in what is called the Season of Epiphany that celebrates the divine giving of light in a world that is often overcome by darkness. Our call is to look for signs of hope and enlightenment in a world too often consumed with ignorance, distrust and despair. I would suggest that God is always offering us that light. It comes to us through a thing called grace that is given free of charge if we agree to receive it. Through the dedicated science of medicine we have been given a series of vaccines that will help us fight the pandemic. God enables this to happen. It is up to us to use this “gift” of a vaccine to manage this disease and gain community immunity. We have also witnessed a peaceful inauguration of a new president in the face of the insurrection that will hopefully calm the political waters at least for a time. Evil raised its ugly head but God arranged a peaceful transition of power. Over the past few years “hate” has been given permission to reign but people of hope and goodwill following a divine spirit of righteousness fought back against it and presented us with a higher calling. In a challenging world we as people of faith are obligated to show that there is a better way and we must live that better way as an example to others. On New Year’s Day the Episcopal Church’s Presiding Bishop Michael Curry was interviewed on the PBS Newshour. In his very dynamic speaking style he proclaimed that peace, love and hope should be our theme in the new year. But he also made clear that hope is not something you simply pray for and wait to happen. You must make hope an active word. Everything we do should be something that enables hope. We play a role in overcoming darkness with divine light. So yes, we acknowledge that there are perilous times ahead. But as people of faith we work to enable positive things to happen as we call on our “better angels” to lead us to a hopeful outcome. I believe that WIN is committed to making this possible and I am willing to do my part. The Rev. Warren Murphy is the Ecumenical and Interreligious Officer of the Episcopal Diocese of Wyoming and the Episcopal representative to the WIN board. He is also the former Director of the Wyoming Association of Churches, the forerunner of WIN.
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