“…so that they may be one as we are one.” John 17:11b
I’m sitting down to write this on Sunday, November 01, 2020. Our Presidential election is 2 days away. This writing, my thoughts and prayer, is slated to be read on the morning after the election. It is very likely that the results of the election may not be known for sure at that point. It is also very likely that we will see a bit of contention rising up as our country hangs in the balance. There is one thing I feel quite certain about; one “party” will soon be feeling victorious, while the other will feel defeated. No matter the results, no matter what side of the political coin I have sided with in this election, I am, and will be, striving to find myself feeling…..well, let me hold that thought for a second while I share some background information.
I joined Facebook really quite unaware of what I was doing early in the same year my first husband Mark would pass away. I had responded to an email from a group of High School friends who had created a Facebook page to help coordinate reunions and to keep in touch. At that point, High School was over 20 years in the past and I wasn’t really interested, but clicked on the links and started what would turn out to be a rather interesting social media adventure. After Mark passed away, this was a great way to keep in touch with family across the country. When I got remarried and became a mom, it was a way to share the blessings and newfound joy with my “friends”. For many years this social platform felt like my only connection to the outside world as I trudged through the long tiring days of toddlerhood with my son as a stay at home mom. I often found the encouragement I needed.
These days, if I want encouragement, I look to things other than Facebook. My “Friends” list is comprised of a couple of people I knew in High School, people I met through Mark, women in a MOM’s group I belonged to, friends from several different churches, friends through Bryan, friends through my sons school, and family to name a few. These friends run from far, far right to far, far left and many in between. While it can sometimes anger me, I let a great deal of the posts that I view educate me. Most often my education comes from Gods word, scripture, when I turn to the source of all truth out of a need for clarity and answers upon reading things that unsettle me. Recently I came to God questioning, looking for answers, as I have found myself so perplexed with the varying degree of where my fellow Christian friends stand on political positions. If I am a Christian, and he/she is a Christian, why are they on that side when I am on this side? I wanted answers. I wanted to know who was right. What I wanted most to know, in all honesty, was the question “Am I right, am I wrong? Where on the political spectrum would you want me to be God?” He is always faithful to answer.
Jesus, in John 17 says several times “I pray that they will be one as we are one.” Jonathan Evans in his YouTube video titled Official Endorsement says “How can we ever be one as a church of Jesus Christ if we are more committed to our political parties than we are to our Heavenly King. Jesus said all authority has been given to me on Heaven and on Earth. So why in the world would I give my allegiance to somebody that does not have the authority of our Father? Matthew 16 says I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. He didn’t say I will build my government and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. The opponent of hell is the church. Until we decide to ONLY align with Jesus Christ, even if our vote goes in different directions, we should come out of the booth thinking about the Kingdom of God. We all believe that we are for life; we all believe that we believe in family. We all believe in justice. We all believe in equality. We all believe in dignity. We all believe in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. So why worry about what side we are choosing instead of just aligning with the Kingdom of God and uniting with that? I know I have to vote one way or the other, but when are we going to answer Jesus’ prayer “Let them be one as we are one.”? Many Christians have taken sides on the field (of politics) instead of being the referees that God has put in history to govern the entire game. (Referencing Facebook and posts from fellow Christians) All you have to do is look at the comments. All you have to do is look at the hate. When you go to their profile you see immediately that they are a Christian who loves Jesus Christ, (but) there is a contradiction because they have joined teams on the field instead of aligning themselves with one King. God does not ride the backs of donkeys or elephants. He is the King of all Kings, Lord of all Lords.”
Regardless of who I voted for, who my outspoken friend on Facebook voted for, my allegiance to Christ must speak louder than my political affiliation. My standing as a Christian in this world should carry more weight than whether I am democrat or republican, whether my candidate won or lost. Meaning that when all is said and done, when the decision for this election is final, if I gloat over my victory or cry foul over the victory of the other, I fall prey to standing in self-righteousness. To finish my thought in the first paragraph I’ll say this. No matter the results, no matter what side of the political coin I have sided with in this election, I am, and will be, striving to find myself feeling at ease in the knowledge that the One who has already conquered evil, the One who reigns supreme eternal, Jesus Christ, is the One I, along with my brothers and sisters in Christ, am striving to be in alignment with.
Let what unites us in Jesus be far greater than the things out there that want to divide us. May we find unity in striving to be the living body of Christ here on earth. May we be committed to Kingdom work. Finally, may we unify and be the kind of people God has called us to be and to become.
Heavenly Father, thank you. Thank you for the security we have in knowing that only you reign supreme, sovereign over all. Forgive us, and kindly guide us back, when we fall into the snare of hanging all our hopes on anything other than you and your word. Stir in us a gentle conviction of Spirit when we find ourselves responding in ways contrary to your nature. Implant in our hearts your truth, truth that settles the soul, calms the spirit, and brings us peace. Ignite in us a renewed commitment to you and your work Father. Grant us the grace to find ways in our spheres of influence to be unified with each other. The grace to be one together, in unity with you, on earth here as it is in Heaven. We ask all of this in Jesus name. Amen