Children of God…

I have recently written several times before about my angst with the upcoming election. I’m sixty-seven years old and I have never witnessed the kind of hatred and infighting that the nation is currently engaged in. Now, we are only several days away from what many people think is the most important election that the country has ever held.

Otherwise sane people are threatening one another and the country just went through another tough confirmation hearing for a nominee to take her place on the Supreme Court. It’s not the purpose this post to defend or attack one side or the other – in fact, it’s quite the opposite…

The point is that we are all children of God. And that comes before being Republican or Democrat – or any other label that we want to stick on people. I have maintained this position for a long time, but today I heard a great sermon on this very subject. That, coupled with my innermost private thoughts on the matter of the election are the reasons that I decided to write about our nation tonight.

In fact, by the time I write my next post on Thursday evening, the election will be over and we may even have an outcome, although I don’t know any more than the next guy about how long it will take to declare a winner. And we all know that God created us with passions and deep feelings about many subjects, including, for many of us, the election.

The problem is when we put our passions and personal biases ahead of remembering that we are all children of God. I am not saying that personal views and opinions aren’t important – they are… but they aren’t the MOST important thing – our brothers and sisters in Christ are.

I read a FaceBook entry today about a friend who took cartons of clothes and needed supplies to needy people in Mexico. Fifty friends, from both sides of the political landscape, hand carried sixty-two suitcases to those in need. Not once during their trip did it come up that they were anything except brothers carrying on with an important mission. There was no hatred – only a sense of service helping others less fortunate than themselves.

I fear that most of us have forgotten that. On 9/11, we were unified. Or when Pearl Harbor was attacked, or we launched the first people into space…  I was a young boy when the Mercury program was going on – and the sense of national pride was palpable. I miss some of those times when our leaders had their differences but didn’t threaten one another… we need to get back there and I am afraid that it may be too late to find our way.

Just because we have strong feelings on these matters facing the country – things like immigration, the Wall, taxes, Supreme Court justices, the stock market, packing the Court, adding more states to the Union, or any number of other passionate debates the country is wrestling with, it is no reason to write people off who see things from a different vantage point.

Wednesday, it is presumed that the matter will have been decided as to who will lead the country for the next four years. The Senate and House races will, at least for the most part, have been determined as well – and life will go on. Our families, friends and workplace relationships will continue… assuming that we don’t sabotage them and say things that we can’t take back.

The apostle John had something to say about being children of God. And Jesus Himself reminded us to love one another as He has loved us – also recorded by John in his Gospel. But tonight’s verse is from John’s first epistle. He specifically references the children of God in the verse… John tells us, in 1 John 3:10, “This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.”

While we may well debate and argue about what is “right” – even kidding ourselves in the process, there is little doubt that we can each determine for ourselves if we genuinely love our brothers and sisters. My encouragement this evening is that Jesus died for each of us – not just those who believe in Him. As Christians, we have a responsibility to spread the Good News of Jesus and our actions will speak louder than any words we might speak. My prayer is that we will all remember our first love, Jesus, and that on Tuesday and beyond we may show one another, through our actions, that our dedication to Him is greater than who wins the election. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…

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