Below is a transcript of my comments across our four worship gatherings this morning at New Hope Church regarding the election:
Good morning my brothers and sisters in Christ. For those of you who are guests, my name is Matthew, and I am one of the pastors here at New Hope Church. I would like to take a moment and reflect on the election.
Many of us in our church family are elated because of the election results; no doubt about it. Yet, many of us in our church family are also hurting. No doubt about that, either. We would be naive to think the hurt is because of mere Republican versus Democratic tension. It is much deeper than that. The rhetoric throughout the campaign, whether real or perceived, has created a great deal of insecurity, anxiety, and even mistrust among many in our church family, particularly among our friends of color, some of whom are wondering today if there is still room for them in a church family such as ours.
Let me be very clear. There ought to be no safer place for anyone than the Body of Christ. Regardless of your political persuasion or background, the people of New Hope Church will remain the safest with whom you can be. We will not provide this safety perfectly, but we will provide this safety humbly and faithfully. This is your church family, and you are deeply loved and esteemed.
Allow me to celebrate two realities. First, while we do indeed live in a special land, as disciples we are part of a Kingdom that is of infinitely greater worth than the United States of America. Ours is a Kingdom whose purposes are gospel-centered, cross-remembering, Christ-affirming, and eternal. Moreover, our Kingdom is led by One who is infinitely greater than even the best man or woman we could elect as president—the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Son of the Living God, the Lord of Heaven and Earth, the King of Kings, and the Head of this church.
A second reality is that because Jesus Christ is our Master and Commander, we have a duty to love everyone around us just as He loves. We must move toward one another with empathy, tenderness, safety, grace, mercy, humility, and love. Just before Jesus died on the cross, on a most unsafe night charged with political and religious intrigue, Jesus told his disciples that a watching world would know they were his disciples not by their political postures or backgrounds, but “by their love, one for another” (John 13:35). This was true then, and it is true for us today. We must love relentlessly, without wavering. The world is watching. It begins with us, it begins with me, and it begins today.
You need to know that I, your pastor, deeply love you, and there is no where else I would rather be than with you right here at New Hope Church. Also, know that I am so grateful this church family knows these kinds of conversations really matter.