It's that time of the decade again. It only comes along twice every ten years.
That time when we start having nightly dinner conversations with our children about elections and politics.
Heads up! When they get to be 9 they start asking some really tough questions.
Be ready! "Let your conversation be gracious & effective so that you will have the right answer for everyone." (Colossians 4:6)
I had the distinct pleasure of hearing Cal Jernigan speak on this topic about a month ago. I was even further blessed to have my husband and thirteen-year-old sitting right beside me for this message.
Here is the replay to that message if you want to watch it in its entirety. It is short (35 min). I highly recommend doing so, especially if you are devoid of hope and find yourself apathetic right now with the current state of affairs.
It is a powerful message for those in the church and those who frankly can't stand religion. Cal speaks to you wherever you are.
Here are my notes from Cal's message: (black are my comments)
Everything is now politicized.
Politika: "affairs of the city."
"Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper." (Jeremiah 29:7)
We are called to invest ourselves in the affairs of the city.
Exile meaning the Jews were living in a foreign land when Jeremiah delivered this message.
How different would our cities look if we had peace and prosperity right now?
Instead of peace what we see all around us is contempt--utter disgust--for those with views that oppose ours.
In his book Love Your Enemies: How Decent People Can Save America from the Culture of Contempt, Harvard professor Arthur Brooks says that the level of contempt we have for each other has exceeded that of the level of contempt the Jews and Palestinians have for one other.
Last night's presidential debate was only further evidence of that.
In a recent survey, 15-20% of both Republicans and Democrats polled said the country would be better off if the other side just died.
C.S. Lewis: We all need second friends. The ones you respect, but they disagree with you.
Listen and learn from them.
Politicians won't even have lunch or converse with others from the opposite party.
An example of this would be George Bush and Ellen DeGeneres randomly sitting next to each other at a football game. The footage went viral. They both paid dearly for being friendly and harmonious at that football game.
This is our world. This is the world our children are growing up in.
Be ready!: "Let your conversation be gracious & effective so that you will have the right answer for everyone." (Colossians 4:6)
Be very careful not to enter into contempt!
Was Jesus a Republican or a Democrat?
Both parties are claiming that Jesus is for their agenda and courting the Church like never before.
The division is always the surest path to destruction.
Any kingdom at war with itself is doomed. Every household divided against itself will not stand. (Matthew 12:25)
See the words of the Pledge of Allegiance. Is it still true?
Are we still indivisible?
That's what hangs in the balance in 2020: not a pandemic, an election, or the economy. It's our unity that is at stake. Our ability to come together and advance the affairs of the city.
Our kids are watching.
Our grandparents and our parents who have gone before. They are watching too.
The ones who wore uniforms shed blood and spent years away from their families to set captives free. These captives spoke different languages and were of different faiths too.
Will we redeem everything they fought for?
Or watch it go up in flames and dump more gasoline on it while it burns?
If I were Satan, how would I divide a nation and church?
Divide from within.
1. What if we took a higher road?
Zoom out on our thoughts about this pivotal time. Set your sights on things above. Things that bind us together as human beings.
2. What if we celebrated our heavenly citizenship?
I have dual citizenship both here and in the kingdom of heaven.
My vision board has a photograph of what my room looks like in heaven. Its a room with cobalt lacquer walls, a pink velvet couch, a library of books, and a window that overlooks the garden.
On the really dark days, I stand in front of that board and dream about the peace I will feel in that room.
There's a room for you there too! Draw a picture of it. Clip a photograph that resembles that. Spend time dreaming about it.
We have pictures on our vision boards of cars, homes, clothes, trips we want to take...
What if we zoomed out on the earthly things and began to envision our heavenly home above all else?
"But Jacey, I don't know what my heavenly home will look like."
I suggest starting with this book. It's more of a textbook because it gets that specific on Heaven,
Let me just say--you won't be wearing a robe and singing all day.
It's way better than any Sunday School teacher ever let on.
3. What if we took our role as Ambassadors for peace as our most noble assignment?
I don't want to lose my chance to influence people for the greater good.
Mother Theresa said it this way: "If you judge someone, you have no time left to love them."
4. What if we took preserving the unity of the Church as seriously as God does?
God never blesses division.
He's not on this throne right now clapping his hands at the way we are tearing each other apart!
5. What if we made our church a politically neutral zone?
We don't get in a fistfight over our football teams. That's the frame of mind we need with our loyalties to things other than our faith.
God doesn't need any political party or candidate. He never has!
He's still on his throne. He's not surprised; he's sovereign. His sovereignty will reign no matter who wins on Nov. 3
Need a shred of proof?
There's nowhere on planet Earth where God is showing up more than in Iran right now! Why? Perhaps there are captives in Iran.
God blessed me with a friend from Iran late last year. I would consider her a 2nd friend:
someone who doesn't look like me
someone whose parents don't talk like me
someone who grew up eating foods I have never eaten or even heard of
someone who is kind, calls me "sweetie" and has enriched my life in ways I am thankful for.
Go make a 2nd friend today and start rebuilding the unity of this nation.
If you don't know how to do that ask your kids. They know how!