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Wednesday, January 20 at 1:00 p.m. via Zoom
Congressman Kneels to Clean Up Mess After Capitol Riot
The Wired Word for January 20, 2021
This week’s The Wired Word gathering will reflect on the actions of Rep. Andy Kim to help clean up the mess left behind by rioters in the Capitol. The incident provides us with the opportunity to discuss God's response to our own messes, our reaction when other people mess up, and Christ's invitation to his followers to serve others.
Representative Kim spoke of that Wednesday, January 6thafternoon: "It was a terrifying experience."
Kim, 38, was describing his experience of January 6th, when a mob stormed the Capitol in an effort to circumvent the process of confirming the election of Joe Biden as the next president of the United States. The lawmaker spent about six hours in lockdown in his office in the Rayburn House Office Building, wondering if he'd ever see his wife and two young children again.
In the wee hours of the next morning, after Congress certified the vote of the Electoral College, Kim stepped into the Rotunda to survey the damage the rioters left behind. What he saw broke his heart.
"Trash and debris over the statues, the floor, some of the benches were askew, and there was a lot of broken furniture, broken American flags," Kim said. Others reported tattered Trump flags, pieces of body armor, broken glass, cigarette butts, urine and feces. Those who ransacked the Capitol lacked the "humility that we need to have," Kim deduced.
"I was just overwhelmed with emotion," Kim said, calling the Capitol building "the temple of our democracy" and "the most beautiful building in the country." To him, "the Rotunda is sacred ground ... literally the heart of this country."
Kim felt he had to act. "When you see something you love that's broken you want to fix it. ... I just felt compelled to do something. … to try to play a role in just fixing this mess that had occurred. I instinctively just started cleaning up. I wanted to leave the room in a better condition and treat it with the respect that it deserves," he said.
This news raises the question of what to do when people create messes that become problems for others. Some messes are of our own making, and others land in our laps, even though we didn't create them. Some messes we can clean up, others are beyond our power to handle.
We will reflect together on those bigger questions, as well as Bible passages from the book of Isaiah, as well as passages from the Gospels that speak to Jesus as a servant leader.
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