This morning brought a new chapter into our American political life. For some of you it seems a wonderful moment and opportunity for our country. For others it seems like the beginning of the end. For some, it’s just really confusing. For others, scary. For still others…not worth your time. Regardless of whether the outcome was what you wanted, this election has exposed deep mistrust and cynicism in our country. It has threatened many of our idols which has resulted in vast divisiveness. It has exposed our self-righteousness and our pride – our racism, bigotry, greed and materialism.
Brothers and sisters, now is the time this country needs the church. It needs us. First, we need to pray. Pray for our new President and his choices for a new cabinet to come. We need to pray for all our elected officials from top to bottom – may God use them to be agents of goodness in this city, state, country and world. In addition, he has called us – the church – to be the moral voice and example in our homes, our workplaces, and in the public square. Never once did we have the opportunity to abdicate that responsibility to anyone else, including our elected officials. As Russell Moore wrote late last night, “We should be ready to pray and preach, to promote the common good and to resist injustice.” We are to be agents of redemptive truth and love. Armed as we are with the Gospel of Reconciliation, we have an opportunity now to show uncommon love, grace and humility that God will use to heal and redeem. Paul says in Ephesians 2 that Christ came to break the “dividing wall of hostility” between Jew and Greek. That goes for Democrats and Republicans, blue collar and white collar, rich and poor, old and young, African American, Caucasian, Latino, and Asian too. Our instinct is to either boast or to blame. There is no room for either of those in the shadow of our Savior’s cross or in the glory of His empty tomb.
So together, as this little “Gospel-formed family for the city”, let’s seize this opportunity to be a redemptive people. There is another opportunity this Saturday to feed the homeless with Mobile Loaves and Fishes. You’ll be home in time for the 2nd half. Men, there is an opportunity that same morning to gather at our home to make new friends and to hear the Gospel again as it spurs us on to lead our friendships, families, workplaces, and the church with love and good, redemptive deeds. Ladies, on Tuesday night there is another opportunity to gather in fellowship at Vino Vino – a time to care for one another and some much needed laughter. Third through Fifth graders, Saturday afternoon there is another chance to dive into the amazing book, Voyage of the Dawn Treader, at our Raisins Reading Club to learn about how Jesus gives us every reason to hope in Him. There are opportunities, brothers and sisters, to come clean with our addictions. To support foster care families. To pray for and with college students. To volunteer at Young Life. To gather in our Parish Groups for Bible Study and prayer. To love our kids. To love our neighbors. To repent. To give. To cherish. And yes, to worship the God of resurrection and redemption “who was and is and is to come”!
Last night a group of us gathered for prayer – not to pray for a specific outcome for the election, but instead to commit ourselves and our church family to the will of God for us during this chaotic time. We were reminded of Psalm 33, and so I share its final verses with the rest of you as well. May God continue to use us as agents of his very good redemption in the city we love. Now is the time.
18 Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him,
on those who hope in his steadfast love,
19 that he may deliver their soul from death
and keep them alive in famine.
20 Our soul waits for the LORD;
he is our help and our shield.
21 For our heart is glad in him,
because we trust in his holy name.
22 Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us,
even as we hope in you.
Much love to you all, in Christ,