… And Let It Begin With Me

Posted: November 13, 2016 in Uncategorized

I am not a political person, but I know that the latest election experience has caused a great deal of concern, stress and worry. Half the country is elated; the other half discouraged. In this building, some may be pleased with the outcome, upset by the result or ambivalent about the whole thing. It really doesn’t matter here in church. What matters is that we are citizens of another country, with a different agenda and different mission. We are ambassadors for God, and this transcends whatever is happening politically in the United States of America. Our duty now is the same as it has been during the Obama Administration and all administrations before that; it is the vision articulated by the prophet Micah: To do justice, love kindness, and to walk humbly with God (Micah 6:8). In that sense, this election changes nothing.

My biggest worry is not about the candidates or the outcome but about the process. I am concerned about the divisiveness that has been brought out in our country. It seems to be more than just a preference of one ideology over another. There seems to be an increasing “us vs. them” mentality and I see much anger and hatred. The divide between American citizens is deepening and I am afraid for the future of our country. However we voted — we must remember and put into practice our theology which transcends human and artificial labels. “For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; [there is no longer Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative] for all of you are one in Christ Jesus ” (Galatians 3:27-28)

Our country is in need of healing and we need to somehow get on a path of compromise and cooperation. John Wesley gave this advice about elections in 1774, and it rings true especially today. “I met those of our society who had votes in the ensuing election, and advised them
1. To vote, without fee or reward, for the person they judged most worthy
2. To speak no evil of the person they voted against, and
3. To take care their spirits were not sharpened against those that voted on the other side.”

We, as Christians, can be a force for good. What our country needs is reconciliation, because we are hurting from division — as individuals, as a church, as a nation and as a world. Reconciliation happens when we show each other love, mercy and a selfless grace. This work can be done in our personal relationships, in our congregations, in our communities, and in the world around us. With the apostle Paul, I likewise beg “you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1-3).

reconciliation-sculpture

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