A statement from The Right Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, and the Very Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith, dean of Washington National Cathedral:
The votes have been cast, the vast majority have been counted and the people of America have spoken. It now appears clear that Joe Biden will become the nation’s 46th president, and we will begin anew the work of repairing the frayed fabric of our common life.
To President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris, we offer our prayers for wisdom, grace and the certain knowledge of God’s presence in the difficult work ahead. To President Trump and Vice President Pence, we give our thanks for their service to our nation, and prayers for God’s guidance as they lay down the powers of their office.
That we are a bruised and divided nation is not news. Yet only together can we meet the enormous challenges before us. All Americans, and particularly our leaders, must put the healing of the nation above partisan loyalties.
As Christians, we believe that we are not alone in this endeavor. St. Paul reminds us that we will see God among us when we exhibit what he called the evidence of the Holy Spirit: “Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23)
As Americans, as we encounter those who may have cast different ballots, may we seek an extra measure of grace and compassion. Neither partisan triumphalism nor ideological defeatism will aid us in the hard work ahead.
This is a time to draw upon what President Lincoln described as “the better angels of our nature,” and to take to heart the words he spoke in his Second Inaugural Address: “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds.”
We pray for this nation and for our leaders. We pray for patience and endurance. We pray that as we move forward, no one is left behind. We pray that in all we do, may we be guided by the prophet’s call to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God.
O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.