From common ground to higher ground: Gospel living in a world of political divisiveness.
By: Daniel Jurek, M.Min., M.A.
Many people are expressing concern about the presidential race and the direction of politics in this election year. They are experiencing fear, anger and even hopelessness. So how do we stay calm, peaceful and find serenity when political storms are impending?
I believe we need to keep our eyes on Jesus and work towards building His kingdom: focusing on Gospel values. By doing so, we can indeed experience peace and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit by touching the lives of those we encounter every day.
It’s not so much that Christians ought to be looking for common ground: I suggest that we ought to be looking for the higher ground of the Gospel. We ought to come together, regardless of the political differences that exist between us in order to commonly address the social needs of people in our communities. We need to seek the Father’s blessing by staying focused on what He deems imperative to building the kingdom: feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, welcoming the stranger, clothing the naked, comforting those who are sick, visiting those in prison, (cf Matthew 25:31-46). We cannot allow political divisions to mar the possibility for a new kind of coalition (political or ecclesial) that holds the promise of a better tomorrow.
We can indeed look around and see polarization, anger, fear, lack of leadership and even sin infecting the political system. If we focus on it, it will bring us to a place of inner unrest, fear and worry. The Lord’s challenge: take the higher ground! “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)