Psalm 133 says. “How good and pleasant it is when siblings live together in unity!” I am sure my grandmother thought this quite a bit as my sister and I were growing up with the handful of cousins that also would be around when we were in there care. And that is because like most children we didn’t always get along. And conflict would arise.
As we read this, hopefully all the votes will have been counted around the country and we will have elected a new president. The long-awaited election is over, and we can move forward even with hesitation towards whatever direction it will lead us for the next four years. As we move forward, I think it is important to remember that we all have a variety of feeling of how this has gone. And moving forward the message of unity that we hear in the bible is one for us to ponder.
Throughout the bible, we hear messages of peace and unity. We are told to not just love our neighbors (Mark 12:31), but our enemies as well (Luke 6:28). We hear of Jesus’ desire for his disciples to be united, so that the world may know God’s love (John 17:23). We hear both pleas to end division (1 Cor 1:10) and reminders about how Christ breaks down the walls that divide us, and reunites us not only with one another, but also with God (Ephesians 2).
Once again, this past election season was a great example of how our polarized political climate continues to create division between people even in a small community like ours. And there is nothing wrong with having differences of opinion. Without them, we would all view the world the same way. How boring would that be!? However, a problem arises when these differences cause us to view others without compassion and treat them poorly.
I believe that a Christian response is to not allow these differences to prevent us from seeing those on the other side of the issues, as who they are. And as hard as it is to admit sometimes, that these people are children of God, people that God loves, and people for whom Christ died, just like us. They are our neighbors, our friends, and our family. For better or for worse.
Our feelings and disagreements about what happened with this election are not going to disappear any time soon. And because of this, I think it is important to remember the things that we have in common with one another. And think of those things when people aggravate us. May we all act with compassion in the days ahead and remember that we are all created the image of God, loved by God, and that we are all people for whom Christ died.