No one knows the final outcome of the U.S. presidential election, but we do know our marching orders as God’s people.
We know how to be gracious in victory and defeat. We know how to be kind and supportive to one another.
We know God has called us to grow in holiness, reflecting the mercy, forgiveness and justice of God in our thoughts and actions.
We know that none of us stand closer to God or more elite in God’s eyes than another. We are all the children of God saved by the grace of God.
No matter how the election turns out, we know, too, how to work for the good of all. We know how to stand with persons who feel left out and bullied by others or disadvantaged by human systems and processes.
We know how to live by the way of the best ethics of our faith. For those who claim to be Christians, that means living by the cross of Christ, which reflects the sacrificial love of the God of all comfort and empathy.
We know how to pray, too, that whoever is in the White House and walks the hallways of government knows the compassionate ways of God. Let us pray ever fervently that these will be made real in our lives and their lives too.
Let us pray that we stay vigilant to God’s heart of justice, too, with a willingness to offer our prophetic critique of all that does not promote “freedom and justice for all” and prophetic engagement to bend the arc of the moral universe toward justice.
In the affairs of human beings, the rule of law is the leveler and guardian of fairness and equity. Let us pray for those who are involved in the process of making sure every vote is counted and every person who wants to be heard will be.
Current reality may dictate that for a while and for your own mental and emotional health that you may need to draw back.
You might even need to use the “unfriend” button on your social media feeds – at least for those people who have fallen deep down the rabbit hole where allegiance to a candidate or cause has become more important to them than your relationship. That’s OK.
Just remember to follow Jesus’ rubric of engagement and withdrawal, making sure that we are guided by the love of God in all that we do and don’t do.
Finally, let us pray for all people of faith that our witness in this time will truly reflect the character of God.
Seeing the behavior of some Christians during elections, I can understand why those who have no time for the church feel the way they do. May we learn to say, “I’m sorry,” when we have offended those persons.
May those who need a glimpse of the empathetic God of grace, mercy and justice guided by love encounter those who know that none of us has all the answers, none of us is better than the other, that all of us are equal and equally loved – and that we are better together than apart.
Pastor of Freemason Street Baptist Church in Norfolk, Virginia.