How are you feeling America? I imagine there are a few different responses depending on if your candidate won or lost. If you are like me, you didn’t have a candidate and so you went into election day already disappointed. No change in that because of the election.
How are you feeling rest of the world? I have friends from other parts of the world. I know what they are thinking – that we’ve lost it. That we did a Brexit of our own. And yet I wonder if they worry that something similar will be taking place in their country as well – it seems to be sweeping across the planet. What it is is difficult to name specifically though. Is it anger? Is it independence? Are the same cycles occurring that we have seen before?
We think that politics ends because the public campaign is over. Yet, it isn’t. There are fundraisers scheduled for today because today begins the next cycle. Politics isn’t something that is added onto life, something that we do every so often. Rather politics has consumed life here in the US. It is the ultimate form of entertainment, minus the bloodshed of the Colosseum.
And that a problem that we have created. Maybe we created this problem when we became the super power of the earth. What else to expect when you hold the military and economic might in the palm of your hands. What else should we expect when we make every policy so important to our lives and we wait holding our breath to hear what the president or a candidate has to say. What should we expect when we determine what our mood will be for the day based on the political developments of the last 24 hours or any day for that matter.
We are a nation that is divided, anxious, fearful, angry, and holding onto a great deal of power and might. This is an uncertain time we live in.
We live in a unique time when we are called as Christians to carry out the Gospel and share the Good News, yet I wonder how many Christians have traded that in for the gospel of a political party and candidate and share the rhetoric and memes of these parties instead. Jesus’ message is counter cultural – yes even, and maybe especially here in the US. And it would be even if the results of the election had gone the other way – make no mistake.
Jesus’ message is in sharp contrast to the Democrat and Republican parties and to some extent America as well. The Gospel tells us that our hope and salvation is in Jesus, not in Washington, DC. That is still true today, just as it was two days ago, and will be long after the United States ceases to exist.
We are in desperate need of healing, yet I wonder if we will continue to look for healing in the wrong places. We are in desperate need of peace, yet I wonder if we will continue to look for peace through military might and victory. We are in desperate need of Good News, yet I wonder if we will continue to listen so attentively to every word our politicians give us. We are in desperate need of hope, yet I wonder if we will continue to place our hope in human institutions, structures, and flawed leaders and their policies.
I’m not interested in examining the election in terms of why campaigns won or lost. Instead, today starts something else, a reformation of sorts – pastoral care for many people who feel lost, Good News for people who feel gut punched, hope for the hopeless, humility for the proud, trust proclaimed for those who put their trust elsewhere, truth for the ideologically blind, grace for the desperate, mercy for those who need consolation, reminders of the outcasts for those in power.
While I’m disappointed today, and would have been regardless of who won, I continue to hold my head up. My hope and salvation haven’t changed. My joy comes from a source that springs eternal. Peace is the way I walk, mercy is what I am called on to show. Grace is what I receive so that I may be Christ’s ambassador. Today is a new day. God is still in charge and has given us this day, calls on us to be stewards of it with the gifts that are given to us by the Spirit. Jesus calls on us to be his hands and feet for those around us. To share hope with our neighbors – hope that comes from God. Hope that doesn’t depend on who is in political office.
My prayer for you today is that you hear God’s word and that you would experience God’s love and mercy. And then…And then go out and do likewise. That’s how lives are changed. That’s how nations are changed. That’s how the kingdom of God is unfolded right before our eyes. Amen.