Our Pastor Jack recently spoke words I’ve been thinking about ever since. Something like his concern that the church be a healing presence to a sharply divided people in this country after the soon coming presidential election.
I couldn’t agree more. My own view is that pastors are wise to not let their political views become generally known. And in fact churches are best set to really be a healing presence when they are not known for either adhering to the religious right or religious left. Those on either side may be able to help their own, but they won’t be able to reach out and help those on the other side politically.
Diverging a bit, and getting to the root of the problem, the Christian scholar Peter Enns helps us see how misplaced our confidence is when we put so much stock in any political party or ideology of this world. I have my political leanings, but I am wrong to think that the answer the world needs is to be found in such. The kingdom of God come in Jesus and found in the one holy nation scattered throughout the world, the church, is the one true hope the world has.
Whatever the outcome of this election, people will get over it and go on, but wounds will remain. And the sharp divide between Democrat and Republican, liberal and conservative will likely continue on. Along with the other divides. I never cease to be amazed at just how divisive politics can be. But we in Jesus need to rise above that, above our own thoughts or convictions on the politics of this world. So that we can be the healing presence in and through Jesus to others who will be hurting after this election.
We do well to temper our words before such elections. to listen well to other views and respect them, even when we don’t agree with them. There are some views we may have to speak forcefully against. But do we do that from the position of always being right, of being the righteous judge of others, or as fellow journeyers along with all others, in need of grace?
For us to be that healing presence for others, we need to know something of that healing for ourselves. And we need to be able to point others to the one hope we and all others of this world have, the hope that is in Jesus, and God’s grace and kingdom that has come and is coming in him.
We in Jesus, whatever our worldly political leanings, are in this together for the world.