It’s summer. The Olympics are in full swing, there are so many compelling excuses for ice cream, and for many of us, schedules are just a bit lighter. Yet this week I’ve been reflecting on the insurrection at the capitol back in January, anything but a light memory.
At a meeting on Monday I asked a member, “What makes a Sunday service meaningful to you?” In her response she recalled our Sunday service on January 10, 2021 (Zoom), and how much it mattered to be together that morning to grapple with the attack on January 6. I thought back and remembered that week of disbelief, anger and sadness.
This Tuesday I happened to have the car radio on as the House hearings on January 6 began. One officer after another recounted the experiences of that day. Riveting reports. I found myself still listening in the car well after I was at my destination.
In a summary report, NPR noted, “The panel’s first hearing on Tuesday was emotional as four law enforcement officers who defended the Capitol that day gave firsthand accounts of being overrun, assaulted, and harangued by rioters as “traitors.” All described lingering physical and emotional trauma. Some rioters hurled racial epithets at African American officers.”
At our service back on January 10, I noted we had been thrust into the role of witness and said, “Please don’t dismiss where you are today. We are called to pay attention in this moment.” At the time I thought that the facts of the day would be beyond dispute (we’d watched the attack), and that the pressure to hold those who entered the capitol accountable for their actions would be close to universal. I was wrong.
While these hearings on the insurrection are a stark contrast to the gentle rhythms of summer, it feels important to continue to press for a factual narrative to prevail.
January 10 sermon text available here: