Today is a big day for our nation and our world. This is the 4th birthday of my son, Charlie Neuenschwander! Forgive me for the comic relief, but I have to say our birthday celebration this morning was a nice break from American politics. All kidding aside, this is a critical day for our nation as we come down the final stretch of another presidential election. For some, the stakes couldn’t be higher. For others, there is indifference. For some, there is tremendous anxiety, for other’s calm, and for most a mix of both. I believe it’s safe to say that all these mixed experiences are shared on both sides of the aisle. Caring deeply about the outcome of this election is understandable, as underneath it all, are genuine concerns and issues that impact us, the people we love, and the society we are a part of.
I have often heard that the key to life is not controlling our circumstances but learning how to respond well to them. This has become truer in my life the longer I have lived. A democratic election allows for some freedom of choice and control, as we have been given the right to vote. Each of us has had to faithfully steward this choice before God. But beyond this act, we are now only left with the ability to respond to the outcome, and our response as believers may say more about us than our vote. As I said a week ago in my remarks on this election, our ultimate witness will never be our vote, but our love, as scripture teaches. Whatever the outcome tonight, or whenever it’s decided, I would hope that Christian love only intensifies in the days ahead. If your candidate wins, may you not gloat, but spend even more time trying to understand how the other side might think and feel. If your candidate loses, may you lament honestly but not fall into contempt, and offer a similar effort to understand those different from you. If you are one of the numerous people in our church from another country and can’t vote, we American’s covet your prayers and perspective! A win does not help God any more than a loss hinders God. He is still in charge of it all. Christian love is always easier said than done, because it’s an enemy love, only accomplished in the power of the Holy Spirit. May we be known for this love in the days ahead.
While the outcome and impact of this election remain to be determined, we do not live in ultimate uncertainty. The King we serve and Kingdom we belong to is eternally fixed. No matter what happens, Jesus is still the King of King’s and the Lord of Lords. He is not only ruling and reigning, but He is comforting and sustaining. We belong to Him. Not only are we certain about who Jesus is, but we can be certain about who we are as His followers. Thankfully, our marching orders are the same on Nov. 3rd, as they are on Nov. 4th. This is my hope for us as a church family. That we will continue, rain or shine, to preach the gospel, serve the poor, love our neighbors, do justice, pray for our leaders, and most of all, love one another as Christ has loved us.
I love you church family and I’m grateful to be on this journey with you. I have seen over and over in our community a deep faith in God, a love for one another, and sacrificial service to all those around us. We ARE the light of the world, let’s never forget that!