By: Rev. Eric Doolittle, College Chaplain
Wow. It’s hard to believe that [candidate] won the 2016 presidential election. Years of debate, strife, political maneuvering, enmity, and pandering have come to this moment of history. Many of you are celebrating the [winning candidate’s] win, looking eagerly to the promise of change it brings. I’m sure many of the [losing candidate’s] supporters are disappointed and even angry. You have every right to be. But now, for all of us, the hard work begins—to offer a labor of love.
You may have forgotten, but before this election cycle began, people were hurting, suffering, and dying. Just like they will be tomorrow, and next year, and even during the next election cycle, which has already begun. There was injustice. There was poverty. There was hatred. There was war. There always has been. And there always will be. It’s a sad promise of the brokenness of the world that Jesus reminds about in Matthew 26 and Mark 14. Unless something radically changes.
That something that has to change in our world isn’t a different president, Congress, or government. It’s us—you and me. We need to quit looking to other flawed humans as our saviors and start looking at ourselves as the body of Christ in action in the world. The promise of salvation never comes from the powers of this world: not from the chariots of Pharaoh (Jeremiah 46), not from the legions of Rome (the message of Revelation and Maccabees), and not from the might of our own nation or any nation. The promise of the salvation for the world is through Jesus Christ and those who would build God’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.
If you’re celebrating today, take a moment to reflect those who feel left out and afraid. Maybe they are caught in an area were the cycles of modern economics have left them behind – like Appalachia or Lawndale or Detroit. How can you reach out to them to provide hope, healing, and a way forward? If you’re nursing a loss today, how can you change the world for good outside politics—maybe a service trip, working with a religious non-profit, or volunteering with a student group serving our community?
When we look to God working in us and through us to transform the world, instead of trying to read the tea leaves of political winners and loser, we make real Jesus’s promise about God’s kingdom from Luke 17:20-21, “God’s kingdom isn’t coming with signs that are easily noticed. Nor will people say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There it is!’ Don’t you see? God’s kingdom is already among you.”
So even though [candidate] won and [other candidate] lost, Jesus is still our Lord. God still reigns. And the kingdom of God continues to be built by us every day, in the little and might ways, when we are the faith-filled, loving, and active followers of Jesus.
For more about a faith-filled perspective on Jesus, join United every Monday at 5:30 pm in the Koten Gathering Room as they study Jesus for President by Shane Claiborne. Free copies of the book are available.