We certainly live in interesting times. Over the past 18 months we have seen probably the most polarizing elections in the history of our country. The country had been divided already over the past 20 years, but this election took that divide to another level. In the interest of full disclosure I found myself wrapped right up in the middle of it and did not always say the right thing to help build bridges. Prior to and after the election there have been quite a few labels thrown around at people, i.e. racist, homophobe, anti-semite, islamaphobe, you name it. The general feeling has been if you didn’t subscribe to view A you were all of the labels not associated with A and vice-versa. Much was said in the “heat of the battle”. In many cases friendships and family relations have been strained, and in some cases broken. This has certainly beena difficult time for the country and for all of us who were so wrapped up in the day to day happenings. As I said earlier, I found myself right in the thick of it and didn’t help the cause to bridge the divide in many cases. For that I am sorry and will try to do right by those that were impacted.
This brings me to my main point. Jesus was all about love, reconciliation, and forgiveness.
23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you,
24 leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
25 Make friends quickly with your accuser, while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison;
26 truly, I say to you, you will never get out till you have paid the last penny.
Jesus also asks us not to judge.Matthew 7:1-5 talks about judging others.
1 Judge not, that you be not judged.
2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get.
3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?
4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye?
5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
It is times likethis that we need to remember Jesus’ words and be that bridge. Sometimes this can be very hard, but following Jesus is not easy stuff. Many times we are asked to do the things that are hardest for us to do, but we also need to remember that our God is a loving God and wants us to live our lives as Jesus did – in faith, in love, and in forgiveness. Starting today I will be eating
some humble pie and I may slip along the way, but when I do, I know who will
pick me up, dust me off, and tell me to “try again”.