Hello WCC family,
I’ve received several text messages, emails and Facebook messages today from friends, neighbors and church family members asking me what I think about the results of the election. Since I can connect to many of you through this blog I figured I will respond, despite my hesitation to add to the overwhelming number of voices you are hearing and reading.
Like you, I have many friends, neighbors and fellow Christ-followers who feel a myriad of emotions, of which include all of you. Some are elated and relieved, some are hurting and angry, and some are regretful and confused. At best, a few are trying to be slow to speak and quick to listen as they process. At worst, some are gloating in prideful arrogance or lashing out in judgmental anger. What I have been determined to do is to remember that all of these feelings arise from deep convictions that led each one to a voting booth to place trust and hope for the well-being of our country in the leadership of a political leader. This has caused me to remember that later this week all of us will bring these mixed feelings together in one room to be led to the Lord’s Table. It is there we will be reminded that we are invited by the Lord of creation to place all our trust and hope in Him as one family, indivisible, believing in a different kind of liberty and restorative justice for all.
So, I encourage you all to feel deeply, whatever you feel. But I encourage you to feel what you feel in the presence of others, rather than Facebook. I encourage to feel deeply because I know that your feelings, no matter how visceral, will not run off the One who knows you best and loves you most. He knows our frailty and fragility, our fears and worries, our tendency toward prideful arrogance and misplaced affections. And yet, He loves us unconditionally and beckons us to come to Him at His Table, to be reminded that we are to trust Him and Him alone. I believe that His hope is that we will be formed and reordered by this kind of unconditional love so that we will leave grateful, ready to love every single neighbor we encounter, despite the ideology that has helped formed their feelings due to the election results. I believe that His hope is that we will remember that we are His “royal priesthood” and citizens of His “holy nation” (see 1 Peter 2:9-10) and are to join Him in embracing others in the same way we’ve been embraced by Christ, especially the vulnerable in our society.
Believing all of this pushes me to an awareness that I need to be slow to speak, quick to listen, and open to being present with my friends, neighbors and church family members feeling any set of emotions, whether I agree or disagree with how they feel. To put it another way, I will try to treat others as I would want them to treat me.
So brother and sister, if the candidate you supported won or lost, my prayer for you will be that in your grief or relief, your sorrow or satisfaction, you will find it within you to feel what you feel without giving in to the temptation to dehumanize, demean or belittle others. My hope is that very soon all will be able to step back and remember that neither candidate can truly be the hope of the world or even these United States. Only Jesus as Lord can be that, and His body, the Church, should commit ourselves to proclaim and embody this confession.
Finally, may we remember that in a deeply divided country our God has given birth to a new kind of family the Scriptures call a “holy nation” (see 1 Peter 2:9-10) to be a kingdom indivisible, unwavering in allegiance, unbridled in love, and committed to prophetically proclaim liberty and restorative justice for all, especially the last, least, left-out, and lonely in our society. No matter what comes may we refuse to be complicit to any injustice that dehumanizes another person made in our God’s image, and may we at Williamsburg Christian Church through our words and actions ensure that all our neighbors, regardless of race, class, nationality, sexual orientation, or religion, know that they are loved and welcomed by God, and loved and welcomed by the family of Williamsburg Christian Church.
I love you all. Every single one of you.
I will see you at the Lord’s Table this Sunday.