After the Election

I voted today. Now what? What are you going to do when the election is over?

No matter who lands in office, we have work to do.

I hope you will join me in a renewed and energetic commitment to repairing the torn fabric of our public life. Deep hurts that we have inflicted on one another need healing. Both we ourselves and our elected public servants need a re-call to civility and a persistent commitment to the common good over personal and partisan agendas. The post-election world needs ambassadors of reconciliation in every arena of influence that we have, in our families, our congregations, our communities, our church, our counties, our states, and our country.

Most pundits and social commentators agree that we will be sorting through the debris left behind by this election cycle for a very long time. As cross-marked, Spirit-sealed followers of Jesus, we are claimed, called, set free, and sent to stand in the breaches. We are sent to tear down walls that divide and build paths to peace. The cross on our foreheads and the Spirit in our hearts call us to turn the gaze of our common life – which has been saturated with attack ads and volatile rhetoric –toward those who have been overlooked, pushed aside, dismissed, disrespected, detested, and dejected.

If you and I don’t lead the way forward, who will?

Long ago, the apostle Paul reminded riven communities that in Christ, God has torn down divisive walls of hostility and has entrusted the message of reconciliation to us [Ephesians 2:14; 2 Corinthians 5:19]. We know the power of forgiveness and we are sent to offer it to others. We know the peace of being restored in relationship and we are blessed to be peacemakers. We know the transforming power of receiving mercy and the freedom and new life that ride the coattails of justice and we are empowered to give ourselves so others might know it, too. We know the commitment of Christ to care for the poor, the outcast, the captive, and the wandering ones and we are called to follow in that way of Jesus.

We follow this Way trusting the even more ancient call and promise from God through the prophet Jeremiah: Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. For surely I know the plans I have for you, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope [Jeremiah29:7-14].

Of course, this is not an easy path to walk. The divides are deep and the needs are myriad. But it’s the path the crucified and risen Jesus has always walked. He will continue to walk that way long after the election results are in. For the sake of the life of the world so beloved by God, he calls us to follow.

So, what do you say? Let’s cast our votes and get to work.

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Table Scraps by William O. Gafkjen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.