From Pastor Mark

Today is the day. Today America will choose who will lead our nation for the next four years. Some have called this election the most important one of our lifetime. Others have said that this election is not just about the next four years, but the next forty years. I don’t disagree.

But my heart is deeply grieved by what I have seen during this campaign season. This presidential campaign has polarized our country in ways I have never seen before. One has to wonder how long it will take for the wounds to heal from all the divisiveness.

The reality is that, by tomorrow, a new president will be announced. That means half the country is going to be disappointed. Maybe even horrified. Then what?

The words of Jesus in our fighter verse suddenly take on a whole new meaning:

He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” (Mark 4:40).

Christian, are you afraid of who might take office in January? Do you dread what the next president might to do tarnish what our country stands for, or worse, further oppose what you stand for as a Christian?

I have to wonder if Jesus would say to us today: Why are you so afraid?

It’s not that we don’t have much that we could fear. It’s that there is a person who is worth fearing above our circumstances. After Jesus calms the storm, Jesus challenges his disciples to consider what to fear most, the storm or the Lord of the storm.

Christian, have you still no faith? Do you believe God is in complete control over the affairs of humanity? Can you find your rest and security in the One who created the universe and created you?

I love how the Psalmist puts it:

Put not your trust in princes,
in a son of man, in whom there is no
salvation.
When his breath departs, he returns to the earth;
on that very day his plans perish.

Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the LORD his God,
who made heaven and earth,
the sea, and all that is in them,
who keeps faith forever;
(Psalm 146:3-6)

Let’s remember, especially during this divisive time in our nation, that the LORD still reigns. Let’s remember that his agenda will continue no matter who occupies the White House. Let’s remember that God has shown his mighty power even when wicked leaders have reigned (think Nebuchadnezzar, Cyrus, Herod, etc.).

Is this election important? Absolutely. So, let’s take it seriously. But, not too seriously. Because we know that the greatness of God’s kingdom isn’t dependent on the greatness of America. His kingdom is advancing and not even the gates of hell can prevail against it (Matthew 16:18). What makes us think one person can do any worse than that?

But, this is not just about remembering and trusting. After tomorrow, our country will be in desperate need of healing. How will you be an agent of healing for your community? Will you feed the divisive rhetoric which leads to further hate and fear-mongering? Or will you take seriously your call to be a minister of reconciliation?

Even as exiles, we are called to seek the well-being of our city and our nation (Jeremiah 29:7). We are still called to show radical and selfless love to all people, regardless of their political, ethnic, and religious background. Christian, you are still salt and light. Let’s show the world that we are peacemakers who represent the Prince of Peace.

I love you church. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring. But, I do know that as we love one another from the heart, we can show the world what Christianity really looks like. We can demonstrate that we are not citizens, but sojourners. That’s Christianity is not about power, but about weakness. It’s not wisdom, but foolishness. It’s not about a crown, but a cross.

But that’s not the end of the story. We long for the day when Christ will come and show us what it means to rule with justice and truth. We can have an unshakeable hope because we know this is the end of the story:

And he who was seated on the throne said,
“Behold, I am making all things new.”
Also he said, “Write this down, for these
words are trustworthy and true.”
(Revelation 21:5)

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