2020 is not the year anyone expected it would be. Pandemic. Fires. Either one of those would be enough. Yet, in just mere days, our nation will elect a president. Whichever party you belong to, it’s likely you have strong feelings about this particular election.
I am fully aware that some think church and preachers should never mention politics in sermons or education classes. Indeed we cannot by law support or publically endorse any particular candidate. That would be in violation of our 501C-3 religious non-profit status. We won’t tell you who to vote for, or how to vote. We will encourage you to express your right to vote as an American citizen in our free democratic process.
But the scriptures are inherently political. Not partisan, but political. Rome was oppressing the Jewish people at the time of Jesus’ life. In the birth narrative of Luke 2, the language is intentional. ‘In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered.’ (Luke 2:1) The Emperor was highest in power over all the known population living at that time. But in verse 11, the angel declares there is another important person who has just been born. ‘To you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah…’ “Savior” means, “Anointed One.” It is a title just like “Emperor” is a title. The language used in the narrative is clear that a new king will rise up. It is political. When Paul writes, “Jesus is Lord”, he is making a political statement.
Just as our faith helps us interpret and navigate relationships, money, time, tragedy, or illness, so too, faith is a lens we bring to the public sphere of politics and advocacy. God is not relegated to only a few parts of our lives. God is in the midst of all our lives.
Here is what I know about King of Glory as it says in our mission statement. “As God’s people, graced by differences and gifted by the Holy Spirit…” We are God’s people. We will have partisan differences. That makes us quite normal and in a unique position to faithfully agree to disagree through Christ our Lord.
No matter the outcome of this presidential election, I call upon you to continue to live out our core identity as King of Glory. Focusing on hospitality and love of one another, bring those same attitudes to your neighbors or friends of a different partisan ilk. Any election focuses upon what separates us. Love of God and neighbor focuses on what unites us.
Finally, pray. Pray for our country. Pray for one another. Pray that citizens will seek the higher good and chose love over division. This can and is accomplished in and through our only Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.
Walking this with you,
Pastor Ruth Ann