What to do on the day after
What to do on the day after
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:
- Archives of Devotional Writings from our Pastoral Staff
- “Some Lent!”
- (Your vocation here) of people
- A Point of Privilege
- Advent = Hope
- All will be well
- Are we willing to cross the road for one another?
- Can we learn to be happy?
- Come and See
- Did Jesus really suffer?
- Doing without in a life of plenty
- Exiles with Vision
- Fear not!
- Feeling at Home
- Finding Purpose in the Journey
- Finding Words for Times Like These
- Forgiving others – and ourselves
- Getting down on Jesus’ level
- Have yourself a merry little Christmas — somehow
- Holy Week and Taking Out the Trash
- Holy Week: The aid station late in the semester
- Hopes & Dreams vs Life in the Wilderness
- How glad we’ll be if it’s so
- In a time of uncertainty, these things are certain
- In praise of plans B … C … D …
- In Praise of Skeptical Disciples
- In the midst of grief, God will bring life
- Is there such a thing as being too forgiving?
- It’s a Three Day Weekend!
- It’s In the Bag
- It’s What’s Happening
- Killing off our future selves
- Lessons in fire building
- Let us work for real wellness in our communities
- Life Is a Highway
- Living in the Present
- O Lord, you know I hate buttermilk
- Of Fear and Failure
- On Christian Unity: When we’re not one big happy church
- On the Bucket List
- Pray and Let God Worry
- Preparing for the world to be turned rightside up
- Recovering from an Epic Fail
- Reformation calls for examination
- Remembering among the forgetful
- Seeing beauty in brokenness
- Signs of Love
- Starting Small
- Still in the storm
- Taking a Break from the Relentless
- Talking ourselves into it
- Thankfulness leads to joyfulness
- The Funny Business of Forgiveness
- The Greatest of These is Love
- The Magi: Exemplars of Faith and Learning
- The Power of Small Conversations
- The Power of Taking a Sabbath
- The Spiritual Gift of Hindsight
- To be known
- We had hoped
- What is your base reality?
- What to do after you find your voice
- What to do on the day after
- What we know and what we don’t know
- When bad things happen
- When joy and sadness live together
- When you offer up your broken cup
- Wilderness Journeys
- Year-end time management: Keeping the main thing the main thing
- Your Valpo roots will help you grow into your future