Dear Ascension Family,
Like many of us this morning (and afternoon) I have spent time reading, praying, listening, discussing, and reading some more about Tuesday’s election results in an effort to make sense of the past few days, and wanted to pass along a couple of things I have found helpful for my head and heart.
First, I want to suggest a reading.
I so appreciate this article from Max Lucado called “My Prediction for November 9th”. In it he reminds us that God’s love never ceases, his mercies are new every morning, and his faithfulness is great.
Second, I’ve been reminded of a birthday.
On Monday, November 7th, 2016, Billy Graham turned 98 years old.
In the grand scheme of God’s story I’d say that Monday’s celebration was more important than Tuesday’s election, as wild and momentous as the election was/is. This article on Billy’s birthday was a reminder that I serve a bigger kingdom, that has given us good and trustworthy heroes to watch and learn from … and Billy Graham continues to be a remarkably humble and faithful follower of Jesus. One anecdote of interest: Billy Graham has spoken in person to more people in history than anyone else (215 million people), which is more people than the number who voted yesterday in the election (which they think will be about 129 million people).
Third, I want to give an exhortation.
No matter who you voted for, or your neighbor voted for, or the person you sit next to on the metro voted for, one clear takeaway from this election is the vast division and lack of understanding and affection that exists between different people in our country. This group, that group, this poll, that lack of polling … it’s dizzying, painful and convicting. In an article called “A Truce For Our Tribal Politics” from this weekend’s Wall Street Journal, Jonathan Haidt and Ravi Iyer wrote this: “On November 9th, nearly half the country will wake up thinking that America is doomed.”
Perhaps you are carrying a sense of doom today … perhaps we are looking for a kind of superhero who will boldly begin reaching across these divides to build relationships, peace and discussion that carry an incarnational, created-in-the-image of God dignity. And if we are looking for a people to live out this kind of ministry of reconciliation I’d encourage us all to read II Corinthians 5 and then extend a hand, conversation, joke, or affirmation as soon as possible.
We are a people changed by Jesus sent to live like heaven is and will be … and what people are looking for is a sign of that, as Jesus called it, Kingdom of Heaven. You and I are placed in Northern Virginia for such a time as this, to bridge those kinds of divides on a local, neighborhood, incarnational level. The need for this kind of living is why we as a church want to make sure we are living well locally; it’s why I want to be (and want you to be) prayer-walking and making myself available to what God is doing.
God’s blessings on you today. Please be on the lookout late this afternoon for a second blog related to our budget and pledging process over the next few weeks,