The election is over; now we start on the days to come

Throughout the day I have been logging into my Facebook page and generally checking in with everyone I connect with on social media for their reactions and responses to the surprising results of the election. I do not chose/use the word “surprise” as my own description but as it was described by others. For some it was a pleasant surprise and for some it was not. Amongst the circle of people I connect with through social media and face to face, the majority feel it was not a pleasant surprise but something they feared and continue to fear. And is so often the case, when one fears, one lashes out. And I have heard/read a lot of lashing out. But I have also read/heard voices of hope and determination to make the best of it and work towards compassion, acceptance and unity.  And that is good.

But . . . but . . . these voices of hope and determination also tell me there is great pain and fear underneath. That they have not turned to anger but love and caring is a good and positive thing. It still, however, speaks and indicates the presence of pain and fear.

I have written a time or two about fear and that God does not call us to a life of fear. Not that the Divine does not acknowledge that we fear, but that the Divine does not wish us to live in fear, but in hope and courage. And not because we fear, are afraid and act out of fear but that we banish fear and replace it with trust in God/the Divine.

This is not the first time the nation, individually or as a group, has feared for itself and others. And without being a pessimist or doomsayer, it will not be the last. We, as a nation have lived in fear and through fear. Fear may be out hope, determination and courage – but it does not always bring out the “best” of us. That is what I hope in the days, weeks and months to come we can do – bring out the best of ourselves and bring out the best in others. We can do that by not letting our fear spread and multiply; no, our fear must be set aside in favor of traits that lead to care, compassion, acceptance, understanding, and unity.

This is not “new” exhortations or encouragements. In fact, this sort of encouragement is pretty biblical. I do not have any bible verses to back this up, and these are not reflections that come from the Revised Common Lectionary. Indeed they are kind of extemporaneous in nature. But written from the heart. And these are comments not just from a national perspective, but global. While this election took place and directly impacts the United States, the U.S. is part of the global community and what happens has impact in other parts of the world. The days, weeks, and months to come will be played out against the backdrop of the global community, and the global community will also impact us.

Living in the United States but being a Canadian citizen means I did not have a part in the election process but I still live in the outcome of the election. It has been a interesting position to be in. I feel both a part of the global community and a resident of the United States – not having a voice but still being a presence. In other words, my opinion did not and does not much matter. So I have not shared much as to what I have felt inside.

What I hope has come across is hope in the Divine, and a desire to see love, compassion, caring and peace spread to all people. In the grand scheme of things, a very simple desire. It is my hope and pray that those traits are what fill our nation and the global community. And I hope and pray, beloved reader, that is your desire too. Selah!

 

Baptism: Being lead by the Spirit

“I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, “The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.” (John 1:33 )

[The Commentary on “Baptism” in the Confession ties this verse to baptism of the Spirit saying, “The baptism of the Holy Spirit: According to the New Testament, water baptism and baptism with the Spirit are closely connected, though not always in the same way. The Holy Spirit rested on Jesus at the time of his baptism (John 1:33). In Acts, believers received the Holy Spirit before, with, or after water baptism.” However, my thinking went in a little bit different direction. ]

In the United States the election year, or more precisely that year and the year leading up to elections, is a obstacle course of trying to figure out who the best person is to lead the nation. Not having a great deal of experience living in other nations, I do not know what it is like there. In Canada, or at least the Canada of my youth, elections years were calm and placid compared to down here in the States. It would be nice to have some sign or symbol of who the best person would be. Perhaps however the sign and symbol in this passage from John chapter one is a little over the top for presidential elections.

I wonder, as Christians do we – should we – make voting an action taken only after prayer? Now that might be an interesting notion, to pray long and hard as to who to vote for. But could a Christian in this country say with honest, integrity, and authenticity that there is a candidate who they prayerfully could vote for? I ask not to be facetious or mocking or anything. I have NEVER voted. As a child, youth, and young adult I never voted in Canada. And not being a US citizen I can not vote in the States, so I have never faced the election box and ballot. So I don’t know what feelings and emotions go into that.

And to be VERY honest gentle reader, I am not sure I would want to. Well, maybe if I could have a sign/symbol like the Spirit of God resting on a candidate’s shoulder I would, but anything less than that . . . .

I know what I believe in. I know who I believe in. And I know where I will stake my future. It is with the Messiah who God’s Spirit rested on. And it is with the God who sent our Redeemer into this world.

May you gentle reader make careful choices, looking to our God and God’s Spirit to guide you. Selah!