Letter 28

DAY 28

Paul W. Chilcote

Director
Centre for Global Wesleyan Theology at Wesley House at Cambridge University
February 16, 2021

Dear President Biden, Vice President Harris, and Members of the 117th Congress,

A noble vision will always capture the hearts and minds of Americans, and I believe a truly life-giving vision is dawning. The times in which we live call for a renewed commitment to national unity and peace, decency and truth, racial justice and the well-being of all people. I commend all of you who have cast this kind of vision and deeply desire for all people to live into a future filled with hope.

The prophet Isaiah offers a glimpse of a future shaped by such a noble vision: “The effect of righteousness will be peace and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever” (Isaiah 32:17). Jesus brought these images of what he called the Kingdom of God into clear focus in his life and ministry. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. described this divine rule as the “beloved community.” Charles Wesley, the great Methodist hymn writer, helps us sing about the “quiet and peaceable reign.” I love all these images. What a contrast to the malice and discord of this past era.

“I invite you to make this ‘beloved community’ your central aspiration…”

You have an opportunity to offer a great gift, not only to our nation, but to the world. Just think about what it would mean if your lives and actions in government demonstrated a tireless, unified commitment to the values of justice, peace, unity, and love. What if you, working together toward this grand and alternative vision of life, turned vision into action, leading us forward on such a path. What a legacy you would leave behind!

I invite you to make this “beloved community” your central aspiration and to govern with the sentiments expressed in this prayer hymn of Charles Wesley: “Thy quiet and peaceable reign / In mercy establish below.” This reign of shalom for which we all yearn points to the gift of reconciliation, the practices of justice and compassion, and the flowering of peace and joy. I pray that, with God’s help, you will be the instruments of God’s “quiet and peaceable reign” in the living of these days.

Peace and Joy,

Paul W. Chilcote

Rev. Dr. Paul W. Chilcote, Director
Centre for Global Wesleyan Theology
Wesley House, Cambridge University

the author

Paul W. Chilcote serves in retirement as Director of the Centre for Global Wesleyan Theology at Wesley House, Cambridge University and Theologian in Residence for Neighborhood Seminary. He was involved in theological education at Wesley College (England), St. Paul’s United Theological College (Kenya), the Methodist Theological School (Ohio), Duke Divinity School (North Carolina), and he helped launch Africa University (Zimbabwe) and Asbury Theological Seminary (Florida). He served as Academic Dean and Professor of Historical Theology & Wesleyan Studies at Ashland Theological Seminary in Ohio. A Methodist scholar and Wesleyan specialist, he is the author or editor of nearly thirty books, including Praying in the Wesleyan Spirit.