Moving Beyond Election Day

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Donald Trump at CPAC 2011. Photo by Gage Skidmore. Used with Permission.
Donald Trump speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C. Photo by Gage Skidmore. Used with Permission.

A number of folk from places far and wide are asking me about the election results. There are a handful of things that readily come to my mind that I would like to pass along. These are very important, I think, particularly as we disciples move forward from here.

First, regardless of which “side” we have been on politically, we disciples must walk forward—together—in great humility. That is not to say there cannot remain strong convictions about personalities or policies, but that our love and respect for one another must transcend such things. While certain characteristics regarding our political candidates, as well as a select number of policies across the political spectrum, should give us pause and may even cause holy consternation, the vitriol among disciples because of political disagreements is still more disconcerting and must now come to an end. Our Lord Jesus, in a passage of Scripture charged with political and religious betrayal, confusion, and even death, made it clear that a watching world will know we are disciples by our “love for one another” (John 13:35). These words should move us toward each other so we mourn with those who mourn and rejoice with those who rejoice (Romans 12:15). Rather than point fingers, gloat, or be argumentative, we should “live in harmony with one another, and not be haughty . . . never being wise in our own eyes” (Romans 12:16). We must seek to listen, understand, empathize, and respect each other. We must truly love each other with grace, mercy, and good-will. This necessitates an other-worldly humility that the Holy Spirit can provide, and we must all trust the Holy Spirit for such.

Secondly, we disciples must respect and honor and pray for our new leader. This is not a quaint suggestion but a Scriptural command, given by a man who spent his fair share of time incarcerated and humiliated by the very people he exhorts his fellow believers to respect and honor. Speaking of people in governmental authority, Paul writes, “Render to all what is owed to them . . . respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed” (Romans 13:7). This has real import for how we think, what we say, what we write (particularly, on social media, where disciples of Jesus should be especially thoughtful), and so forth. Moreover, the apostle is clear that “supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for . . . kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior” (1 Timothy 2:1-3). Whether you voted for Donald Trump or not, now is an opportune time to pause and pray for him. I cannot help but wonder what could have been if instead of too easily and too often shredding the Clintons, Bushes and Obamas throughout these past 24 years, American Christians became known to those presidents and their families as their greatest prayer warriors and intercessors.

Lastly, we disciples must lead the way in blessing America with shalom. Jeremiah 29 finds the Lord exhorting the Jews to “seek the shalom of the city where I have sent you into exile, and to pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its shalom you will find your shalom” (Jeremiah 29:7). Shalom represents the ancient Hebrew concept of peace, friendship, well-being, contentment, and completeness. Blessing our nation with shalom requires us disciples to be concerned when injustices exist, people are afraid, and too many have uncertain futures. Blessing our nation with shalom means we see everyone, no matter who they are or where they come from, as fellow image-bearers who are deeply loved by the Father. It means, frankly, that we approach our daily lives as people who are more than American citizens wishing for the so-called American dream, but Kingdom-citizens choosing to bless our land with the favor and lovingkindness of The Father. It means lamenting with those who suffer, expecting the best of each other, protecting those who are not safe, and empowering all to flourish. Significantly, this way of living puts the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ on full display, and makes still more credible and holistic any appeals we make for a sinful world to find redemption through the person of Jesus Christ.

Humility. Prayer. Peace. These three, at least, must define all of us disciples as we move forward from Election Day 2016. We must never waver. We must be bold and courageous. And we must be trusting of Our Ultimate King, Jesus Christ.

Comments

  1. Jay T. Lundt says:

    Last Tuesday after I had already voted I saw a lady walking down the street trying to find a particular address. She was trying to get out the vote in our neighborhood for the Democratic Party. I went outside to meet and greet her. She identified herself as pro-choice, a Unitarian-universalist and that Jesus was a created being and not God after I asked her a series of questions. I begged her forgiveness for not always being respectful toward other views (1 Timothy 3:15) and shared with her how my wife and I recently re dedicated our marriage to Jesus Christ.

  2. Derrick Grow says:

    Well said and needed! Both in the blog and all church e-mail. Thank you for leading and loving courageously.

  3. Dennis Ruple says:

    I remember your teachings on Daniel and on how many Babylonian leaders he was under and served even though his heart always belonged to God. We need to remember his example of continuing servitude even though the many in the world will not accept our faith and it is not our duty to force it upon them. Only to preach the gospel at all times and live the examples of the old and new testaments.

  4. Dennis Ruple says:

    I remember your teachings on Daniel and on how many Babylonian leaders he was under and served even though his heart always belonged to God. We need to remember his example of continuing servitude even though the many in the world will not accept our faith and it is not our duty to force it upon them. Only to preach the gospel at all times and live the examples of the old and new testiments.

  5. Bruce Kirking says:

    Good points Pastor Matthew! I especially like the one about our citizenship being not only of an America but our heavenly citizenship. We will spend a LOT more time in heaven that here on this sphere!

  6. Jim Fultz says:

    Last Sunday in Mosaic, we discussed the verse “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep” as part of our on-going “One Another” dialogues. Without sounding frivolous, I venture to say that, given Tuesday’s results, those of us who are weeping need to somehow rejoice with those who rejoice; conversely, those of us who are rejoicing need to somehow weep with those who weep. I will do my gracious best to do just that.

  7. Cheryl Wahbah says:

    We need to pray for His Word, the double edged sword, to rightly divide our soul and spirit.
    What are our motives?
    Humility or pride?
    Seeking truth or trying to prove what we think is right?
    Peace or self contentment?

    Thank Pastor Matthew that you lead us to divide these rightly, not just conquer what we do not agree with.

  8. Cathy Wood says:

    God bless you, Pastor Matthew. Thank you for your words of wisdom.
    Yes, this is truly a time for Christians to express God’s amazing love
    as we walk humbly before our God, pray for our new leader and that
    the peace of God which passes all understanding will touch the
    hearts of those with whom we come in contact.

  9. Allen Martin says:

    It is so refreshing to hear an evangelical pastor say we need “humility, prayer, and peace”. “Peace” is rarely mentioned by pastors anymore. When they do do mention the word, they mean inner peace–which is one of the blessing of being a Christian. However. “peace” as expressed in Scripture means much more than that. Jesus is the Prince of Peace tells us, “blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God”.

  10. Ruth Pederson says:

    Thank you so much for your message, Pastor Mathew! We are truly blessed and grateful for your leadership and inspirational teaching of God’s word!

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