“The challenge is to make and keep our communities places where we can tolerate, even celebrate, our differences, while pulling together for the common good,” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said in 1997. “‘Of many, one’ is the main challenge, I believe, and my hope for our country and world.”
Religion and politics can be hot topics of dissension. And yet, as people of faith, it is important to us to consider the inner nature of the women and men we choose as leaders. And so, while we should not hold candidates to a litmus test of faith that is identical to ours, we are indebted to the Apostle Paul for giving us nine words to consider as we evaluate the inner light, character, and spiritual health of those who would lead.
Looking for a daily miracle helps your brain stay active by anticipating something special. For people of faith, it’s a wonderful way to live. You have to slow your pace a bit to notice, rather than rushing from task to task (or Zoom meeting to Zoom meeting).
In John 17, Jesus claims that “the hour” is at hand when he would be glorified and his disciples given their chance to be in the fullness of what his gospel proclaimed. Even when the future we see looks cloudy, the prayer Jesus offers up for his believers is one of trust, hope, and love.
We are never left orphaned. We are never forgotten.
Christ’s prayer continues to bless us, now and forevermore.
Love through the lens of emotion has a foundation of reciprocity coated in preference. From this perspective, one must have an affinity towards another before love takes root. This type of love lacks the power to deal with race or any of the world’s challenges. Love that transforms is not some sentimental outpouring feeling. The love that has the power to transform is agape, which seeks nothing in return, but is “redemptive goodwill for all men.”
The musical Hamilton asks, “Who lives, who dies, who tells your story?” But I would also ask “Whose story will we revere and embrace as patriotic? Countless people of color, women, members of the LGBTQ community and others who have cut against the grain of the majority are speaking out. Too often their words and actions are regarded as traitorous. But in this pivotal historical moment, we have an opportunity to be better.
Christian citizenship requires, not that individuals seek to impose Christianity on the society, but that individual Christians operate within the framework of Jesus’ teaching as they respond to the way government treats all its citizens, especially those who are in the greatest need.
There has always been a divide in faith and politics particularly in race, economics and power. To transform the divide, now that may be the radical and revolutionary work still needing to be done.
Be vigilant about teaching the next generation the transformative power of kindness, gratitude, and respect. Truly, the only way to save our nation and change our world is to return to “Please,” “Thank you,” and “Cover your mouth.”