I've talked to many people over the past couple of weeks regarding our nation's recent election. The responses have been as unique as the peoples that have expressed them, I've had family members in rural parts of the nation that were relieved. I've had African-American friends that were ready to leave their identification as evangelicals behind them because of the election results. I've had people confide in me that they have been deeply depressed, even unable to get out of bed. And whether you fall into one of these camps, or more likely, have had your own response to America's recent election, I would like to remind us of some important truths and actions that we have been teaching the past few months:
1. If you are in Christ, your first citizenship is in the kingdom of God. This means that in spite of the apocalyptic tone of American media (which improves ratings), or the messianic expectations upon American politics (which politics were never intended to carry), the most important election that will ever take place has already happened. Jesus has been elected King over All. He is ruling with perfect power, although sometimes beyond our ability to see and appreciate. We are confident that the vacillations of America do not hinder the rock solid hope in the current and coming victory of Jesus' nation, the Kingdom of God (Ps 2:8-12).
2. If you are in Christ, you are called to love the other. This means that there is place for you to mourn and lament the fractures in our culture, and the disappointments in the way our leaders don't reflect godly values, but at the end of the day because you belong to Christ first, you are willing to listen, and pray for, and speak truth to, those that you disagree with. What we do with our 'enemies,' those that we passionately disagree with, shows us more about our real religion than just about anything else (Lk 23:34).
3. If you are in Christ, then you are God's comfort and protection to the vulnerable. If you don't reach out to those that feel like the election left them behind, and express your concern and your prayers, it might not happen. Our normal in America is to look after our own, and it takes God's Spirit in us to give us the courage to reach out to those from different backgrounds and ethnicities and express our concern and prayers. You'll be amazed at how much this concern means to be people at this time. You can start by simply asking, "How has the recent election made you feel?"
For more insight into how the scriptures inform us as Christians in a divided America at this time please check out our sermon series from the month of October, Living in a Fragmented Nation. The messages on Living in Exile and Praying for our Nation are especially applicable.
Author: Cameron Lemons
Reflections from the pastor