Waking up this morning I was greeted with the headline "President Trump". I wish I had stayed awake last night to watch the turn of events, but my warm and comfy bed was calling my name, plus I am getting older.
To be perfectly honest, I had thought Hillary was going to win the election and I had already prepared myself for that. I had voted not for either of the main candidates because morally I could not align with their views, policies, speech, or denials, so instead for the first time in my life voted third party.
This morning was vastly different from what I expected. I had thought I would see the normal post-election celebrations, the rejoicing among the party's supporters, boisterous parties after the victory speech, but instead there seemed to be two things that stood out. Fear and peace.
Together they seem like an odd coupling because when one normally fears, peace is not in direct sight. But these emotions came from opposite ends of the spectrum. Democrats and Republicans alike expressed both emotions and feelings. Neither party rested upon either one reaction but instead these feelings were expressed by people of all walks of life and political affiliations.
Too often I fear that we allow our political parties to define our faith. We place our faith in politicians. We place our faith in security that political policies will offer. We place our faith in change or hope. We place our faith in something tangible. We place our faith in something fallible...mankind.
My heart broke this morning as I witnessed young women I work with saying they were now scared of what this election meant for them. Scared that a president who advocated for using and assaulting women was now in control. Scared that they would become a victim and a statistic. Scared that they were once again marginalized and forgotten.
I cried as I saw many friends who are first generation immigrants wonder if their families would be torn apart. They questioned if they should move from a land they had fled to for freedom, because they now feared persecution. They feared that what happened to the Japanese Americans in World War Two may happen to them.
I watched in wonder as many people thanked God that "His candidate had won." I saw many pastors proudly post that "God placed the right man, and not the corrupt woman where he belonged." I read rants about how those who voted for Hillary needed to be expelled from the country and how America is once again God's chosen nation.
Is this truly the culture that we have allowed to become reality? My friends, have we allowed the political institution of one country to define how our lives are run? Do not hear me as advocating for some type of uprising or anarchy, but instead please pause for a moment and think about what would happen if we treated the Gospel the same way we treated this election.
Instead of posting constantly about the election on social media perhaps we should post about the Gospel. Instead of proclaiming God's candidate maybe we should proclaim the King of Kings. Instead of lambasting the evil political party that you oppose perhaps extending an olive branch and bringing cookies and coffee to those who differ in opinion and praying together may change something. Instead of stating that the president elect will turn back the dial on change for women, immigrants, and the LGBTQ community perhaps we as believers should do better to initiate change within our own churches and congregations.
When did it become politics that changed the world? When did politicians begin to instill fear or peace in the hearts of man?
There is only one Man who brings both peace and fear. One Man who will change this world. One Man who died so that you may live, not in fear but in the glorious hope He offers.
Let us not rest in the fear or peace that this election has supposedly brought. Instead let us live in confidence knowing that Christ is alive, Christ died so that we may live, Christ will come back, and Christ most assuredly is in control yesterday, today, and forever.
Do not let this election define you or your mission. Let the Gospel always do that. Let the Gospel not our political stance be our voice. Rest assured that no man or woman, no country, no political stance, no policy will define you. It is the grace and restoration of the Gospel that defines us. Today, and every day, we should stand for the Gospel and its mantra.