On Tuesday, I, along with millions of others, turned on the television to watch the State of the Union address. I watch every year no matter who’s the President, no matter whether they’re Republican or Democrat. I watch the State of the Union because I’m an American. This is my home. This is where we raise our children. This is most likely where I will grow old and one day die. What happens to our country makes a difference to me, and more importantly to the people I love and those who will come after me. The state of our Union makes a difference!
Whether I agree with everything a president or political party says or believes, whether they are “my party” or not, I want the best for our country. I want what’s best for our country, because I believe that a healthy United States is incredibly important to the health of the world. For good and ill, our actions make a difference and not just within our own borders but around the globe.
Did I like everything that I heard last night — no. Did I like some of the things that I heard last night — yes. That’s true most every year. And every year half of the gallery stands and applauds while the other half sits on their hands. As a leadership changes, who’s standing and who’s sitting, who’s applauding and who’s not - simply switches sides.
The state of our Union is imperfect. Sometimes we agree with the path we are on as a nation, and sometimes we are vehemently opposed. At times, we take to the streets in celebration while at other times we march with signs of protest. The state of our Union is messy and difficult and complicated. That’s the reality. It always has been — it always will be.
But, so too, is the reality of the Church. The reality of our union as the Body of Christ can be messy and difficult and complicated. As the Body of Christ, it takes work to remain in relationship with one another. It takes prayer and grace and faithfulness for us to remain unified in the proclamation that there is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all. As a nation, it takes all that we have to look beyond our differences and disagreements and to hold to the core value that we are one nation truly indivisible with liberty and justice for all.
So, what is the state of the Union — imperfect. What is the state of the Church — imperfect. But, we must continue with faithfulness and perseverance to strive to live more fully into the union and unity that binds us together in one reality as the people of the United States and in our true identity as the people of God’s one holy catholic and apostolic church.
The Rev. Paul Jeanes III