Beyond Politics

 In Pastor Jeff's Blog

It doesn’t matter if you are a Greek or a Jew, or if you are circumcised or not. You may even be a barbarian or a Scythian, and you may be a slave or a free person. Yet Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us. God loves you and has chosen you as his own special people. So be gentle, kind, humble, meek, and patient. Put up with each other, and forgive anyone who does you wrong, just as Christ has forgiven you. Love is more important than anything else. It is what ties everything completely together. – Colossians 3:11-14. [underlining added]

St. Paul wrote those words to a deeply divided community of early Christians. The groups he listed are people who had been at enmity with one another for generations. Now, notice what Paul does. He reminds those groups that beyond the divisive cultural labels they have a deeper identity in Christ. He reminds them that God loves all of them and has chosen all of them for a common purpose. And then Paul tells them how to relate to one another – with gentleness, kindness, humility, meekness and patience. With love.

Now take a moment and read St. Paul’s words again, but this time replace the underlined section with these words, “It doesn’t matter if you are a Republican or a Democrat.” Seriously. Do it. Go ahead. I’ll wait…

If you took those words seriously…

…how would they change the way you think about people with whom you disagree politically?
…how would they impact what you post on social media?
…how would they transform the way you talk about the candidates?
…how would they change the words you use when talking about politics and the upcoming election?

Are the political issues of the day important? Absolutely! But in my not-so-humble opinion the change we need in this country has less to do with who sits in the oval office and more to do with what sits in the heart of every citizen. The enemy isn’t on the other side of the political aisle. The enemy is within. And the road back to wholeness doesn’t begin on November 3. It begins with what you do with St. Paul’s words today.

Jeff Marian serves as lead pastor at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Burnsville, MN

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  • Beverly Brucciani

    Thank you for this timely reminder.

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