Andrew Arndt, the pastor of Bloom Church here in Denver, sent this out today and though I’ve seen a lot of similar thoughts circulating, I loved the scripture he rooted it in and wanted to share. (Eesh, that’s a long sentence!)
This morning, a few of us gathered in the basement of Hope for morning prayer. With the results of the election lingering in the air, we pressed in… reading the Scripture, declaring our faith, and lifting the world and its concerns up to God. Melissa sent us out: “May the peace of the Lord be always with you.” We responded, “And also with you.” I sensed blessing surrounding us.
As it always does. This election season, we all know, was one of the most bitter and divisive ones in recent memory. It was utterly polarizing. The vast majority of Americans were massively displeased with both of their options. This morning was bound to be a time of nervous hand-wringing, no matter who won.
During prayer this morning, I kept thinking of Psalm 46. The Psalmist describes a time of great turmoil and upheaval surrounding the people of God with vivid imagery. “Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall,” he writes. “The earth gives way” and “the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.” In the midst of this, the people of God are largely unmoved: “Be still and know that I am God” the Lord says to them. They discover “a river whose streams make glad the city of God.” Drawing from God’s life reassures and stabilizes them. “I will be exalted among the nations,” declares the Lord. “I will be exalted in the earth.” The Psalmist concludes, “The Lord Almighty is with us. The God of Jacob is our fortress.”
We live from another reality, friends. Don’t ever forget that. And it is because we live from another reality that we can be genuinely helpful to our neighbors, many of whom will be understandably distraught, since they have placed all their eggs in the basket of what happens on the stage of national and international politics–something that we don’t do. We don’t hitch our carts to the ebb and flow of worldly power. God rules the nations. He always has. He always will. And our task remains the same: to keep living into and bearing witness to the kingdom-among-us: Jesus of Nazareth.
I’m writing all of this to encourage you today: whether your candidate won or lost, do not be distracted. Keep your feet firmly planted in Christ Jesus. Keep loving your neighbors, keep lifting up the fallen, keep reaching out to the marginalized, keep working hard “as unto the Lord”, and keep holding out the hope of the kingdom in all you do and say. When and where you can, reduce the noise, bring down the energy level, listen well, and lead people to the heart of God. We are God’s people, after all. We live from him, and through him, and to him. And we refuse to give up our footing in him on account of anything that happens “out there.” Being rooted and planted in Christ Jesus is what makes us different. Always.
So cling to your difference today.
Grace and peace be with you in great abundance,