Yesterday after our Thanksgiving dinner we had a pretty heated discussion about the political situation in our country. My nieces are very anxious and very upset, and they asked me, what as Christians should we do?
What I wanted to say was this: whatever God is calling you to do.
It’s not a political question. It’s a spiritual question.
“Consider the fig tree and all the other trees. When the buds burst open we see for ourselves that summer is near.”
It may be that the feelings my nieces are having are a sign that they need to become politically active in some way, or get involved in policy-making, or even protest, lawfully and peacefully. We all have different charisms and we all have different talents, and if we look steadily and patiently inside us we will see the buds bursting forth. We will be able to discern the will of God for us.
Most of us don’t have that political charism, or that activist charism. I don’t. And that’s fine. Our responsibility is to be informed and to be alert and to vote, and to be prepared to resist injustice if the time comes, but then to follow where the Lord is leading us day to day, as best we can.
For all of us we have to make sure that we don’t get swept up in abstractions and swept up in generalizations. We have to make sure that we don’t demonize people who disagree with us. We have to make sure that we don’t end up believing that the outer life is more important than the inner life. Because it isn’t.
Kindness makes a difference, and it’s the only thing that does. Prayer makes a difference, and it’s the only thing that does.
And whatever we do, we have to make sure that we don’t get caught up in anxiety or despair. There’s no need. “Heaven and earth will pass away,” and that’s frightening, of course, and hard to endure when it happens, and it’s always happening. Things are always changing. Things are always giving way.
But the words of Jesus will never pass away.
Jesus will never pass away.
Love will never die. Tenderness will never die. Grace will never stop welling up.
It’s OK to be happy. It’s OK to be at peace.
In fact, it’s our call to be happy and and at peace.
Lord Jesus Christ, take all my freedom, my memory, my understanding and my will. All that I have and cherish, you have given me. I surrender it all to be guided by your will. Your grace and your love are wealth enough for me. Give me these, Lord, Jesus, and I ask for nothing more.