There is a largely missing note in the give and take among so many Christians today concerning the upcoming election, a note which is both prominent and even preeminent in scripture through the gospel. That missing note is grace.
There is no doubt that grace can be misconstrued and cheapened into something less than the grace of God found in scripture. The heart of grace is a gift which includes forgiveness of sin and new life. Grace involves a righteousness at work in our lives, to save us from our sins, from ourselves in our own error and lostness, and from the evil of the world. It is a grace active like that in all of God’s people in Jesus, that same grace offered to everyone in and through Jesus.
This grace is scandalous in that it continues at work in our lives, remaining with us. And scandalous because it is at work in others, yes in the ones whose glaring faults we see, perhaps experiencing something of the brunt of them, ourselves.
It is a grace which meets us where we are, but doesn’t leave us there, at work in our lives to make us together like the Savior. A necessarily painful work, since we too often resist it; painful enough at times, even when we don’t. Grace doesn’t let us get away with what is wrong, or evil. Any such “grace” is not from God, being perhaps some religious substitute, aptly called “cheap grace,” which actually amounts to no real grace at all.
We in Jesus need to show the world something quite different, even in the midst of our differences, we might say especially in the midst of them. We need to show the world a different face, a face which loves and accepts each other completely, in spite of what differences we might have concerning the upcoming election and concerning the politics of this world in general. We actually need to see beyond such differences to what unites us, which by the way, is itself political since it takes in all of life, but that’s another subject. We need to focus on the gospel: the good news of God’s grace which unites us in and through Jesus. Our unity is in him, and nothing less. Certainly not in how we look at the politics of this world, as important in its place as that is.
Grace, grace, grace. That’s what we need especially in this day, and all the heat on every side concerning this election. Whether we fully understand our need for that, or its importance, let’s err on the side of grace: the grace of God that is in and through Jesus.