After months and months of anticipation, endless political speeches, lots of mudslinging and insults, and the hopes of many, we finally had our 2016 Presidential Election here in the United States. The candidates couldn’t have been more polar opposite, and the whole process very emotionally charged. Most voters had the sense that no matter which candidate won, we were on the threshold of a journey that would determine much about the future and fate of our nation.
People are passionate about many things in life, but especially about politics and religion. And oh boy! Combine the two, and you have a real volatile cocktail of explosive emotions, especially if someone feels their lifestyle and way of life might be threatened by this or that candidate. This was certainly true with this year’s campaigns and election.
Filled with many mixed emotions, I walked this morning in the dark, frosty air to retrieve my newspaper from my mailbox, knowing that the headline would declare someone the new President-elect of my country. I had resolved my heart to be prepared no matter what the outcome. I remembered how I felt after past elections when my candidate lost. I had been sad, depressed even, and I made up my mind that I was not going to let that happen again. I also knew that no matter who won, some people would wake up and be glad, maybe even elated that their candidate won, while others would be sad, depressed, and even angry. It weighed on me knowing that some of those who would be struggling are my siblings in the body of Christ.
I am also deeply burdened by the division in the Body of Christ that exists because of politics, knowing that there should never be any political party or viewpoint that we allow to cause rifts in the family of God. We must keep our eyes focused on the one who truly reigns, the King of Kings, Jesus Christ. No matter what, the sun is still rising and the stars are still shining, and our true citizenship is still in heaven (Phil. 3:20).
My prayer is that wickedness in high places is rooted out, that justice prevails, that the poor and needy are cared for, that we can all embrace the fact that all lives matter, and that people know we are followers of Jesus by the way we love—especially how we love one another, even in times of political division—because we are citizens of heaven!
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
John 13:34-35 NIV