Tuesday, November 04, 2008

How Will They Know We Are His Disciples?

I'm sitting on the couch watching the 2008 Presidential Election Coverage on PBS. Jim Lehrer just announced that California & Florida have just been "called" and it appears Barack Obama will be the 44th President of the United States.

But I'm here to tell you why, in a very real way, it doesn't matter who won.

I've never thought of myself as "centrist" per se, but I find myself in the unique position where about 1/2 the people I know and care about have been supporting John McCain. The other half have been supporting Barack Obama. That is no big deal to me. What floors me is this: the McCain supporters have been saying really mean-spirited things about those who support Obama. The Obama supporters have been saying arrogantly smug and hurtful things to and about those who support McCain.
It has been the most divisive time I've seen
especially amongst people who say
they are followers of Jesus,
and this saddens me.
As we move forward in one country on one planet, here are some thoughts on why it does not matter who won: we are all still called to (a) support the government, the authority under which God has placed us, and (b) defer to one another in love, promoting unity instead of division. For more on that, I refer you to Paul of Tarsus' letter to the followers of Jesus living in Rome. If you read chapters 13-15, the message is clear: our call is to love one another and support one another and find places of unity instead of spouting vitriol.

Are you someone who had been supporting Obama? Rejoice in his victory, yes. But mourn with those who mourn and show respect and love for your brothers and sisters who supported McCain. Please don't say "I told you so" or anything like it and hurt those whom Jesus loves.

Are you someone who had been supporting McCain? Mourn his defeat, yes. But rejoice with those who rejoice and show respect and love for your brothers and sisters who supported Obama. Please don't grow bitter or say malignant things about those whom Jesus loves.

In his concession speech in Arizona, John McCain said of President-Elect Obama: "I pledge my part to do everything in my power to aid him. I urge all Americans who supported me...to find ways to come together...whatever our differences."

The world is watching and it would be a tremendous shame if we as followers of Jesus living in America allowed the current divisiveness to get any worse. Rather, wouldn't it be wonderful to see unity and love for one another reigning in our hearts. After all, Jesus Himself said
"They'll know you are my followers by this:
when you love one another."

~ Keith


Lizb69 said...

Thanks Keith for your thoughtful comments. I was disheartened that the media discounts the West Coast, Alaskan and Hawaii voters when they announce the winner before even our election opportunity closes. However I was reminded that it is the Lord who establishes all governments and it is to Him we owe our allegiance. He calls us to obey and to honor the authority He establishes here on earth. I rejoice that my hope is not in man but in the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore I can proclaim to God be the Glory for this Day. His will has been done. I too pray that the devisivenss will stop and they will know we are Christians by our love.

Jourdan said...

awesome post brotha!

Heidi said...

Well-stated, Keith. Your words express much of what we have experienced.

It all comes down to one thing: LOVE.