Archive for the ‘disappointment’ Tag

Dilemmas   3 comments

It’s the morning after election day and, at the time of writing, we still have no idea who will live in the White House for the next four years. A number of things have however become very clear. Firstly, whoever ends up winning will preside over a nation so deeply and toxically divided that one wonders if healing is even possible. Secondly, around fifty percent of the nation will find themselves with a government that they have already condemned in the strongest terms. Every election results in one group of people being deeply disappointed and finding themselves wondering how we can survive the next four years. How will they tolerate being governed by people who have such different ideas about how to solve the nation’s problems? But this time it seems different, the condemnation that has been poured out by each side on each other has included, in many instances, writing people off as morally reprehensible.

I was reading in Jeremiah this morning an incident that occurred when Isreal was taken into exile in Babylon. Representatives of the leaders left in Jerusalem came and asked the prophet to seek God for direction at what they should do next. (Jeremiah 42:5-6) The leaders commit themselves to act on God’s instructions said “whether pleasant or unpleasant.”  After ten days the prophet comes back with God’s message (Jeremiah 42:9-12). He tells them to go and settle among the pagan and Godless people of Babylon. This answer was, of course, morally repugnant. Their choice, trust God and His word through the prophet despite the nature of the guidance, or decide that they knew better and ignore what God had said. Sadly (Jeremiah 43:2) they chose the latter and it did not work out well for them.

When the counts, recounts and legal battles are over, it seems to me that one half of our nation will be presented with a very similar dilemma. Someone, who they have judged, not simply wrong, but as morally indefensible will have been elected to form a government for the next four years. The choice they have, either accept that God is still on the throne and the people have spoken.  Their task must now be to commit to pray for the incoming government. The alternative is to conclude that God is no longer in control, his plan has failed and He has made a dreadful mistake.

Whichever choice you make if you are a follower of Jesus, you find yourself with another dilemma. You are surrounded by people that you don’t just believe are wrong but whom you have publicly judged to be bad people with motives that belong in the gutter. I confess I struggle to understand how in our churches and small groups we are going to be able to repair and forgive those judgments and avoid retreating to enclaves of people who simply agree with each other. How then will we be able to fulfill Jesus’s command that we be united and known for our love for each other?

Posted November 5, 2020 by jolm15 in Uncategorized

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