We have just completed one of the most hostile election seasons in history and certainly the most divisive in recent times. You may be wondering, "Where do we go from here?"
In considering where we go as individuals,
to see Steve's Facebook post from yesterday, the morning after the election. How we each respond matters and this post may help you consider your own words and actions as you interact with friends, family, and others.
As a church, the aftermath of the election offers the potential for us to share our true colors as followers of Christ, who collectively as his body can offer a powerful testimony to the world. Here are at least three ways in which we can bear witness:
First, there are many people who, on the basis of race, disability, sexual orientation, or gender have been branded in demeaning and hostile ways on the campaign trail. Their pain and their fear are real. We can offer them safe space where they can find comfort and healing. We can embrace them in a community where they can know that they are loved both by God and by other children of God, who welcome the opportunity to walk the journey of life and faith with them. We can bear witness that every human being has sacred worth (Genesis 1:27).
Second, we can model for the world around us the capacity to listen and to love even amidst differences of thought and belief. We can be a community where mutual respect and concern are means of grace we extend to each other. We can lean into the wise words of John Wesley: "Though we cannot think alike, may we not love alike?" We can bear witness to the presence of Christ and work of the Holy Spirit bringing peace among us, breaking down walls of hostility (Ephesians 2:14).
Lastly, whenever we gather as members of Christ's body, we can pray. Pray for each other. Pray for those who thought (and voted) differently in this election than you did. Pray for those who have been deeply injured by hurtful rhetoric. And pray for President-elect Donald Trump. For those who are skeptical or resistant to this last idea, remember that we need look no further than the pages of Scripture to find a large host of characters who experienced transformation in the hands of God. Not only that...prayer is a balm that softens the rough edges of our own life and faith. We can bear witness to a hope that is grounded in the power of prayer (Philippians 4:6).
While much has changed this week in the landscape of American politics, nothing has changed in our calling as church. May we be faithful to the work that is before us.
Grace and Peace,