What does the election mean for us as followers of Christ?
I think it means that we need to be even more committed to living in this country as Christians—as people of courage and compassion, confidence and creativity.
We need to commit ourselves to critical thinking and to understanding what the complicated facts really are, not just to reading our own news feeds, hearing what we want to hear. For us as Christians memes are not enough, feelings are not enough, biases are not enough. Some things are true, in the world, and some things are not, and as Christians we are called to think past the easy answers and available clichés –past all the posts and all the tweets and the endless advertising, the endless branding.
We need not to click but to think. Not to swipe but to learn.
We need more than ever to commit ourselves to respect for everyone and for the dignity of everyone and for the Christ who lives in everyone, behind the masks and beneath the skin. And we need to commit ourselves to seeing the skin, not to trying to be colorblind and gender-blind but to seeing all the others and all the strangers for who they really are, not who we assume them to be. We need not to generalize, not to demonize, not to ignore. Sexism is real and we need to face it. To name it. Racism is real and we need to face it. To name it.
And classism is real and we need to face it, especially those of who we are educated and who tend to think we have the answers and who tend to think that people who are not educated and who don’t read and who drive up to the fast food windows and watch reality TV are ignorant and dumb and not worth listening to. We have to listen to them, to what they fear, to their wisdom, to their complex and shifting realities.
We have to commit ourselves as Christians to civility—not to “political correctness,” which is just a label, just a way of not really having the conversation, but to a genuine civility which comes out of a genuine humility, the recognition that we are not the only people in the world and that others are not just other but beings made too in the image and likeness of God, beings too deserving of respect, loved just as much as we are by the God who loves and forgives us all. Language matters. What we say reflects and determines what we think and how we act, and we have to speak as Christ spoke and still speaks, as Jesus was himself and still is, not avoiding the hard truths, not refusing to say what needs to be said, but speaking with deep respect for women and deep respect for people of color and deep respect for the alien and the other and the immigrant and the foreign, and the poor, and the outcast—calling all to the table, not excluding, not building walls.
We can’t shy away from arguments. We can’t refuse to engage in the debate. But we have to engage in the debate with kindness and compassion and humility. This isn’t niceness. This is precision. This is the hard, difficult work.
And we have to be confident. We have to be joyous, and we can be. We have to be of good cheer. Because God is all in all and He is still all in all, even this morning, even in the aftermath of whatever it is this election means. Though the mountains may fall God is God. Though the glaciers melt and the oceans turn to vinegar and the even the birds refuse to return in the spring, God is God and the hills rejoice and the trees clap their hands and even the waters of the flood are filled with his power and filled his love and filled with his great and subtle purposes. And the waters have not entirely turned. Ice remains. There is still a sweetness, a dearest freshness deep down things. There is still the moment, this moment, in whatever rain and whatever sun, and the next moment, and the next, and this is what we called to, this is who we are, this is the source of our confidence and joy, eternal life, here and now, eternal life in every breath we take. We can abandon all hope because hope is not needed. The future isn’t to be feared. It’s already here. We have all that we need. We have Christ, we have each other, we have Christ in each other—in all our stubbornness and concreteness, despite all our bias and impulse and fear—and all shall be well, all manner of things shall be well.