Today some of you are feeling excited because the person you voted for won the election. Some today are feeling anxious because the person you voted for did not. Some today are feeling relief that the political ads may finally cease!
Hate is a strong word. It is thrown out at times when it is appropriate and when it is not. I hate the political season. People choose one or two issues that are most central to their understanding of life and too often demonize those who see the world differently than they do. Rarely, do I see legitimate conversation or debate.
Love is also a strong word. It is much different than hate. Love defines the life of Jesus. Love is seen in the Jesus creed, “Love God, Love others.” Loving others is the call for Christians. So if today, you do not call yourself a follower of Jesus you can respond however, you see fit. If you do call yourself a follower of Jesus that is not the case.
Today you and I should think of the other. The ‘other’ is the person who did not vote like you or I, the person who has a different skin color, the person who may be born from another place, the person who is oppressed, the person who sees sexuality different than you or I, the list goes on and on.
Jesus is clear in his life and teaching in what it looks like to be a child of God. He modeled humility, gentleness, his great teaching in The Sermon on the Mount lays out a call to peacemaking, mercy, and love. I could go on and on in what defines Jesus and what he calls the characteristics of God’s children.
What if those of us who call ourselves Jesus followers took seriously that call right now. If we don’t we are likely to ruin the witness that he calls us to carry out. In desiring to see God at work in the world, too many of us have done more harm in our witness than good. The call of Christians is reconciliation not division over politics. May we not forget that God wants to redeem all that is broken in the world and He wants to use all people in that effort.
Paul’s words may be of some use today:
“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time. 7 And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying—and a true and faithful teacher of the Gentiles. 8Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing.”
Today, what I can say with certainty is whoever was elected president has deep flaws that are easily apparent. That being said, I will pray for president-elect Trump and I will pray for Hillary Clinton. What I know to be true is that regardless of who is president of the United States is, Jesus is Lord. Will you join me in striving to follow him? Will you seek to be a peacemaker over a mocker, will you join me in striving to pray for others who don’t see the world like you or I? Will you join with me in striving not to ruin our witness in the words that we use and the actions we take?