Text: Isaiah 6:1-8 (Isaiah's Call and Sending)
“Woe is me,” says the prophet. “For I am a person of unclean lips, and I come from a people of unclean lips.” You consider carefully. What will be suspended in the air between you and this fellow child of God? What word could be true enough, and faithful; adequate to the gift of revelation that has been unfolded before you? For such access is not granted lightly. It comes only when there is something so great that the weight of it cannot be carried by one human soul. When it takes a second - a soul-friend - to shoulder the load - it is an honor and a privilege to be invited across the threshold.
Now and then, a tight-knit community is invited to step across. But sometimes, an entire nation or a world is unwillingly pushed across a threshold. These are not comfortable moments. Then again, prophets’ call stories seldom are.
But we can’t. Make no mistake: there was a call story embedded in this week’s events. If you make any claim of being a Christ-follower, in this particular time, you are one of those being called. Church, we are being called.
The world stopped for a few hours on Tuesday night. Did you sense the threshold, the collective intake of breath? The prophet’s call is a holy moment - angels cry out. The earth trembles. In the face of such strong indications, we would be wise to attend.
The pollsters were equally clueless; while some of the models showed a closer race, none of the mainstream polls had Donald Trump actually winning. How could all of these polls be so spectacularly wrong? Some voters were hiding in plain sight; others chose to keep their support a secret. In the wake of the election, there been some research which has turned up alternative forums in which radical conservatives were encouraged to keep their support a private thing, not speaking of it in public or “PC” spaces. So much was deliberately hidden from public view.
Then, later on election night, when I began noticing a trend of increasing anxiety as I was watching social media. Trusting my instincts about people at-risk, and the tone of the posts I was seeing, I put up a posting of my own, sharing helpline and suicide hotline numbers. Someone commented with her disbelief that such a thing was necessary. Surely no one would consider ending their life because of an election. It was not part of her sense of the world that someone could be that profoundly unsettled; feel that at risk because of election results. For her it was a normal election. She lived in different circles; her privilege was hidden from her.
Most days we act like normal people with our midwest-nice coffee-shop chatter about the weather. But this week we were called. We are prophets. We must look deeper. We are called to attend to what has been hidden – whether by overly-comfortable patterns, or deliberate efforts to deceive. We are called to bring what is hidden into the light. 
Perhaps you tried to tell them that it was just an election - that it will all be ok. Perhaps they looked at you as if you had two heads. Christ-followers are called to comfort those who are hurting. Efforts to say “it will all be ok” come from a good and loving impulse.
But we cannot tell people that it will all be ok. Because it is not. We cannot offer that assurance. Because it is already not ok. The thin veneer that papered over racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, other -isms and -phobias was already being removed before the election and has been stripped bare since.
The Southern Poverty Law Center and the Council on American-Islamic Relations both cite a spike in vandalism, threats, and intimidation since Tuesday saying hate group leaders, emboldened by the election, are encouraging their members’ actions. These are very real incidents happening to very real people. Right here in our own community there have been incidents of hateful words shared in public forums. Students have faced consequences these incidents - and rightfully so. Failure to interrupt such behavior immediately will only allow it to continue, to become a new normal. This cannot stand. Not in our community, not ever.
However you voted, you need to be aware that there are very real fears being experienced by people you know. On election day, I posted words of comfort and hope from scripture and Christian tradition, not for abstract reasons, but because I knew there were people among us who needed it. I received text messages from youth and young adults saying, “I don’t want to live in a world like this,” and “I need my church right now,” and “my friends are scared.” The day after the election, we held the sanctuary open, and first one person came in, with tears in their eyes, for quiet conversation about their concerns. Then another, saying, “I just wanted to sit, is that ok?” before falling into my arms and dissolving into tears.
This week L shared a post from her daughter, who grew up in this congregation - and I’ve been given permission to share these words here:
There are moments in which prophets are called to attend. This is such a time. The vulnerable and their oppressors can both see this truth: “rape culture was just elected to the presidency. Racism, bigotry, [and homophobia were just] electorally approved.”
And so, prophets, attend to what has been revealed! It should no longer be possible for your consecrated eyes to not see, your consecrated mouth to not speak, your consecrated feet to get moving, your consecrated prophet’s body to not stand with the vulnerable.
At the beginning of our bulletin, we have an Open and Affirming statement. It is enshrined in the Faith and Covenant of this Church. This means something. It obligates us to more than sentimental or conceptual support. And God said, Who will speak for us, and who shall we send?
Our social media pages say “Be The Church.” We have a banner that proclaims it in rainbow colors. It is past time that it hangs outside our building, in a prominent location for all to see. Who will claim this symbol, this public witness, and ensure that it happens? And God said, Who will speak for us, and whom shall we send?
People are starting to wear safety pins as a quiet symbol to indicate that you are a safe person - a quiet symbol of allyship to show that you will not abandon those on the margins. Do not wear it lightly; it commits you to stepping in, to stand with someone when they are threatened. If you choose to wear one, consider what you will do when the moment comes. And God said, Who will speak for us, and whom shall we send?
We are called to attend to what is emerging.
The great separation, division and fear that have motivated so much of our recent history are distortions of God’s most beautiful dreams for creation. The decisions and actions arising from those distortions run counter to the teachings of Jesus.
Christ stands at every crossroads. This breaking open makes room for a different future to emerge. Be ready to insert love where there is no love. Hold out Gospel hope: though it may look like the end of the growing season, place something in the soil - whatever holiness you have to offer - and trust that God will help bring it to fruition.
It is our time, prophets. We have been called! Attend. Be ready to speak, to act. And for heaven’s sake: pray. This is spiritual work. We do not do it with the tools of this world. We do not do it alone.
 but everything exposed by the light becomes visible - Ephesians 5:13
 Names removed for the purposes of public sharing.
 Gratitude to Rev. Dr. Thistlethwaite, one of my seminary professors, for the truth and the phrasing. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rev-dr-susan-brooks-thistlethwaite/doing-liberation-theology_b_12932050.html
 Saint John of the Cross