Division. Outrage. Protest. Hate. Fear. Anger. Broken. Disjointed. Chaotic. All these and more are words that describe the current climate in the United States of America. This election season more than any other has drawn a hard line in the sand between two polarizing sides. On one side we have the “uneducated”, “bigoted”, “racist”,”deplorable”, “bullies” that voted for Donald Trump (as described by those who voted for Hillary). On the other we have the “entitled”, “liberal fanatic”, “crazy”, “hand-out wanting”, “immoral”, “losers” that voted for Hillary Clinton (as described by Donald Trump supporters). Then there is a minority in the middle that voted for Gary Johnson, Evan McMullin, or Jill Stein, knowing that their candidate likely was not going to pull out the victory. I’m sure several insults have been hurled their way too. We’ve been divided right down the middle on political issues and obviously there is no room for the other side. The predominant feeling of the day is that if you voted for Trump you are simply an extension of the same negative qualities that may or may not be accurate descriptions of him. Likewise, if you voted for Hillary then you must be the embodiment of all of the negative qualities that may or may not be accurate descriptions of her. If you voted for Trump then you are a racist, bigot, who hates women. If you voted for Clinton then you are a unethical criminal who believes you are above the law. You see the cause of this bleak outlook is not simply the disagreement between two sides of a political argument. It is because as a society and as a Church we have bought into the lie that “You are who you voted for…”
A little over a week ago we were provided with a much needed break from all the negativity surrounding the election in the form of the Chicago Cubs winning their first World Series title in 108 years in maybe the greatest most dramatic baseball game to ever be played. In the aftermath, social media was flooded with mostly celebration. To my knowledge there were no Indians fans or players expressing hate or anger at the Chicago Cubs for winning the series nor were there any players calling foul because of the rain delay that obviously played a big role in the cubs victory. Without that rain delay, the Indians may very well be Worldseries champions. However, even more than the rain delay it’s what happened among Cubs players during the delay. The Cubs had lost all momentum. They were seemingly falling apart just as they had many times since 1908. Then Jason Heyward, Cubs Right Fielder, called the players together with an incredibly simple message. “Remember who you are.” Given the identity crisis described above, I want to echo this same message to the Church and especially CommUNITY Church. Remember who you are! You are not who you voted for. So, who are you? Who are we?
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9
Do you see who you are. This has nothing to do with politics. This has nothing to do with who you voted for. Because of what Jesus Christ has accomplished you are a “chosen race.” You are a “royal priesthood.” You are a “holy nation.” You are a people for his(Jesus) own possession.” This is all so that we may “proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness and into his marvelous light.” Do we see that we are a people united by one thing and one thing alone. Jesus Christ. It is him who has died for sinful people. It is him who defeated death by his resurrection and it is him who for his glory unites those who are otherwise divided. At a time when things are potentially more divided than ever, the church in the United States has been granted an opportunity to display the unity that is described in the above passage. We have an opportunity, regardless of who we individually voted for in an election, to display the glory of God to the world THIS weekend.
To those who consider yourself part of CommUNITY Church,
Will you gather together with us as one body united in Christ to proclaim the excellencies of the one who has called us out of darkness and into his marvelous light.” Will you gather together, regardless of who you or anyone else voted for, and lift your hands and voices in praise to the one who has eternally united us. I am pleading with you, this Sunday at 10:15 let us do nothing more and nothing less than display the glory of God. It’s why we exist. This is who we are.
To other Christians,
Will you gather with a local body of believers and unite with them to bring praise and glory to Jesus who has loved you beyond anything you can ever imagine.
Let’s not miss this opportunity to be who we are. You are not who you voted for.