From every side the battery of voices is telling us this is the most important election of our time. While every election matters for how it will at minimum set the course for the next few years of a nation, Election 2020 feels like a choosing between two very different narratives of America’s past, present and one-day future. Perhaps the only thing we all agree on is that the shock waves of this election will reverberate for many years to come.
Yet as People of the Cross, there are some elements of our lives that will not change.
The next day (and every day while it’s still being decided), we will get up and continue to love our neighbors, to raise our children, to stumble hard after Jesus, to champion the oppressed, and pursue justice while seeking to do so with mercy.
There will be a heaviness, and for many, fear, disappointment, anger and grieving the loss of what could be. And yet we, the Bride of Christ, need not be ruled by it.
We will not succumb to it.
We live in this world but we are also citizens of another Kingdom. And this, my friend, gives us hope even in the darkest nights. Our Savior is not a broken man trying to unite a fractured nation but a God-Man who broke death to bring healing to humanity.
No matter the results, the need for authentic love, extravagant grace, and gospel-centered justice will be as strong as it was the day before. The curtain has been pulled back on the illusion that we were all okay, leaving us staring at a broken, naked, desperately hurting country that is careening violently from one would-be antidote to another.
But any solution apart from Christ cannot ultimately solve what is tearing us apart.
God has always been in the business of calling people to Him, using shipwrecks and ruthless leaders, screaming storms, green pastures, or whatever other means necessary to bring a lone wanderer to His Kingdom. Because even as He desires that we seek the good of where we are planted, that we pray for and choose wisely to give our cities and nations righteous leaders, the unbending truth remains: This world is crumbling apart. Eventually, all of this WILL disappear. But what will remain from today?
And the soul of the person next to you or down the street, the soul of the one checking groceries or rioting the next city over. Abba raises leaders and destroys nations but through it all is the ever-constant call to His Creation to come home. Turn away from the fleeting pleasures and powers and instead build into the eternal.
That is what matters most to Him and so it should be for you and me.
I adore this nation, this not very United States of America. A lover of history, I am always in awe that flawed and imperfect men were able to set a vision for, and craft a system of government, that has led to freedom and opportunity for millions in ways that have not been realized anywhere else on earth. We have not been perfect but we have done more for humanity’s flourishing than any other nation. Neither is it lost on me that we are at a crossroads for the future of this great nation, a choosing of the country we want to build or break for future generations.
As I have wrestled with my feelings and opinions on this election, as I have watched friends make different choices, this one thought has stubbornly lodged into my head:
What may be best for building and expanding the Eternal Kingdom may look terrible for this current country. I do not actually know what will draw the gaze of people from their circumstances to their Creator.
And so I am praying that God has His way, that He shows mercy, and is gracious in His answer. But beyond a handful of elected leaders, I am praying He would ignite a revival. A breathing of life into dead bones and a calling back those wandering hearts to their First Love.
I am praying that His Church will not be found wanting in the days ahead as we have been in the last few months. May we lead with a heart of grace, living loud that we are for a person more than their political decisions, even as we press into the hard conversations. I am praying that we will live brave by showing up in person for people and communities when others scream in anger or run in fear.
I’m praying that no matter how a neighbor, friend, or family member votes, we, the Hands and Feet of Christ in this busted-up world, will remember that they bear the fingerprints of our Holy God. He loved them enough to consider them worthy of His Son’s death so let us try to do the same.
No matter the election results, we are passing through to our true Home. Our greatest aim is to bring as many with us. Let us be the people living with Hope, continuing to choose Righteousness, and pursuing Justice, all rooted in Cross-shaped love.