It’s the day after one of the most talked-about midterm elections in US history. It’s likely that some of the candidates for whom you voted won, while others you selected lost.
Now what do we do?
Paul, writing to Christians in that very political town of Rome, offers some guidance.
He begins by encouraging his first audience to be law-abiding citizens who give due respect to those who govern since the service they offer is on God’s behalf. Echoing Jesus, he even encourages them to pay their taxes.
Some have suggested that this teaching of Paul leads to Christian quietism, a passivity before immoral rulers that fails to take a stand for what’s right. While there are certainly cases when Christians kept quiet when they should have spoken, there’s nothing quietistic or passive about Paul. He’s quite an activist. He continues “Owe no one anything, except to love one another…”
Here then is a path forward for us.
Love of the neighbor seeks to know them, takes the time to listen to them and seeks a way of blessing them, even if and especially if they disagree with us. A measure of our listening is the ability to describe the other’s position back to them in words that they themselves have spoken. This doesn’t require that we agree; it doesn’t even require that we understand the concerns or interests that inform that position. It requires that we listen compassionately and well enough to be able to repeat what we have heard. There’s no gift that we can give that is quite like listening to our neighbor.
Yesterday lots of us spoke our minds at the ballot box and that’s good!
Today and all of the next days are times for more listening.
If you’d like to talk about this or anything else with either me or Deaconess Kristin, please book an appointment with us. We’re always willing to listen.
Nov. 7, 2018
Pastor Jim takes turns writing weekly devotions for the Chapel of the Resurrection. Reach him here: