While this election is behind us, the events of the past year have revealed some deeply troubling realities about our society. The predominant message I have been hearing the past few days is in regards to where we go from here. This election cycle has damaged people and relationships, exposed ugly realities about our nation, and firmly established a culture of distrust. I am writing this before any election results have been announced, but already I am hearing that whoever the next president will be will have the overwhelming task of uniting our nation in the wake of a contentious contest.
As a Christian, I pray for all of our leaders, regardless of their party affiliations. I pray for the healing of our nation and its people. However, I cannot assign the work of unifying our country to the president alone. It is my responsibility to work alongside the next president to bring healing and unity. Indeed, it is the responsibility of every Christian in America. Jesus calls all of his followers to offer radical demonstrations of love, extending that compassion even to those we might consider our enemies.
In addition to bearing witness to the love of Christ in the world, God also calls us to speak out against any forms of hatred, bigotry, and oppression that we encounter. In Christ, there is no Jew or Greek, Paul wrote. If he were still writing today, he might very well add that in Christ there is no republican or democrat. We are all equal in the eyes of God. Sometimes that means we need to sacrifice our own privilege and comfort to raise up another so they can experience the fullness of life God intends for all of us. It also means that when one of us hurts, we all hurt, and when we inflict pain on another, we damage ourselves.
It may not be easy for us to come to terms with these realities. Our lives may be comfortable and we may prefer to make excuses for the ugliness that we have witnessed this past year. Yet now more than ever our country needs Christian leaders who will demonstrate the power of self-sacrificial love, who will speak out for justice and compassion for all people, and who will show that when we provide for the needs of the most vulnerable, everyone benefits. We must join our next president, whoever that person is, in the challenging work they face in bringing healing and unity to our world, for that is the call of the Gospel.