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November 9, 2020 at 10:23 am #4885officeKeymaster
Noticings…November 4, 2020
This is going to get political. How can it not be? I should probably say that I’m sorry about that, but really I am not. How can one not stand in utter disbelief at the events unfolding among our neighbours to the south? You may feel that this is none of my business. I disagree. It affects all of us. It seems surreal to even be having to think about writing this down, but I can’t not write it. As of this morning the election for the president of the US is still unsettled. This is mind boggling to me. I cannot begin to fathom how there is any scenario in which a thoughtful, ethical, supposedly Christian person could cast their ballot for the incumbent. Full stop. I understand party loyalty, and some of the reasons a person might choose one party or the other. But I cannot understand how any person with any degree of integrity or compassion for one’s neighbour could possibly vote for a man who has repeatedly demonstrated that he is utterly lacking in both.
What this election has revealed is that America is a nation that is deeply divided, and that those who most loudly profess that they are followers of Jesus simultaneously ignore or reject his core teachings. Love God and love neighbour. Selflessness over selfishness. Love of enemy and compassion and hospitality for the other, the stranger, the foreigner. The shocking thing isn’t that some people operate under a fundamentally flawed version of Christianity; the shocking thing is that there are so many that this election is even close.
Yesterday I sent notes of encouragement and prayers to several minister friends that I made while studying in the States. Here’s what I said to them:
“Holding you, yours, and your whole country in prayer today as I watch from afar and hope that all goes well with your election today. I pray that thoughtfulness, compassion, and a strong measure of love of neighbour pervades and touches the hearts of all your compatriots, whatever their political views. Mostly, I pray that you will be safe, and that your best hopes for this election are met.”
They all wrote back expressing their angst and anxiety, their fear of violence, and their sadness at the current situation. And they expressed sincere gratitude that they were being held in prayer. I hope we will all do that – all of us holding all of them in prayer. It may not sound like much, but it clearly makes a difference.
I’m not sure what I’m noticing in all this. I can’t offer any profound insight into the spiritual condition, nor can I explain what we are witnessing. I can only hope that in the aftermath of the winner being named in the coming days that there is peace rather than violence, trust rather than suspicion, and love rather than hatred. I lament that I have to make this prayer. I also lament that these values that are so completely alien to my understanding of Christianity and human decency are not limited to ‘other’ countries but are also swirling in our own. Such things must be called out. Without apology. Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God. Amen.Shalom,
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