As I was reading though my journal this morning, reflecting on yesterday's message calling us to unity, I ran across my entry from November 9, 2016, the day after the election. While the election may be over, the divisiveness and division is not. I share this now because it seems as appropriate today as it did 9 months ago when I originally wrote it.
The Day After an Election
November 9, 2016
Congratulations, America. You’ve survived another election. But are you like me, did you feel like there was something different about this election? Something more divisive. Something nastier. Something that just made you feel dirty. Fortunately today we get to move on and enjoy non election advertisements on television and no more mailers or phone calls. But what about the divide, the divisiveness, the division that remains.
As I reflect on this past election, my heart aches. Not because Donald Trump won and Hillary Clinton lost. I would feel this way regardless of who won the election. My heart aches because once again the election cycle has shown a divide that exists in our country. A divide between rural and urban. A divide between young and old. A divide between educated and uneducated. A divide between black and white.
This divide hurts because I know that as a citizen of a different Kingdom, division isn’t the end goal. Unity is. Not uniformity. Unity. Where you feel valued not because of the color of your skin or the size of your checking account but because you know and understand that you are made in the image of God. United, not under a political party or even a nationality, but united under Jesus Christ. United in our desire for the open exchange of ideas and dialogue, not intolerance disguised as open-mindedness.
So, whoever you voted for, whether your candidate won or not, will you personally be willing to do something today to begin to heal that which divides? Show empathy for the immigrant who is concerned today about their future in the US. Begin a conversation with someone with a different worldview to show them that friendships can exists beyond party lines. Pray for the candidate of the other party. (Trust me, both of them need it…bigly) :-)
Above all, will the church of Jesus Christ model and reflect for those around us what life in the Kingdom of God is like? A kingdom centered around love, even for our enemies. Centered around faith, not in a political party or even this nation, but on Jesus. And focused on hope, that even in an imperfect world there is a God who sees and knows and will one day heal our brokenness and pain.
Lord, help me today grieve with those who are hurting and to lift up those who are downcast. May today we find unity in a desire not for political perfection, but in revelation of your kingdom in this world. Amen.