We are on the verge of an election.
An announcement that will cause some to rejoice and some to mourn.
I—and maybe many of you—am struggling with this election.
I am struggling with knowing how to love the neighbor I strongly disagree with.
The neighbor throwing stones on social media.
The neighbor throwing out love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control in their own communication.
America’s fate . . . leaves us asking, “What kind of country are we passing on to our kids?”
The tornado of 2020 keeps spinning.
My heart grieves.
As we are on the eve of our country’s election, weeks away from the holiday season, and a few short months from the end of the year, I am left wondering:
Who are we as Christians to be when the fabric of society is changing? How do we love both those rejoicing and those mourning?
. . . . .
In Philippians, Paul powerfully reminds us of who he was before knowing Christ and who he became after.
“I was circumcised on the eighth day,
of the people of Israel,
of the tribe of Benjamin,
a Hebrew of Hebrews;
in regard to the law, a Pharisee;
as for zeal, persecuting the church;
as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.”
Paul was the ideal religious leader. He perfectly lived out the 10 commandments. Yet, in the very next paragraph Paul writes,
“I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things . . . that I may gain Christ.”
I can’t help but get swept up in Paul’s words.
“That I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.”
Paul is so humble. Of all people, all he endured, all he sacrificed, he still says . . .
“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
Paul’s ultimate goal,
“I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.”
We are children of God. We are not Republicans or Democrats. We are not right wings or left wings. We are not a political party. We are children of God. Let’s be like Paul.
Paul changed the world, but Paul did not let the world change him.
We are on the eve of some rejoicing and some mourning.
Like Paul, my prayer for you is, “that your love may abound more and more.”