This is a very simple, yet profound question. Simple because if your life has spanned more than four decades, you should have some sense of personal identity. Profound, because most of us don’t have a clue even in our fifth, sixth, or seventh decade of living. This question came to me this morning as I lie in bed waiting and listening for that still small voice. Voice of direction. Voice of creativity. Voice of introspection. Voice of correction. Voice of affirmation. Voice of ultimatum. Ultimatum – choose ye this day whom you will serve.
As a year that has been defined by politics, absurdity, division and shock comes to a close, the time is now to ponder who we say we are and who we really are. Are we defined by our political affiliation or our Christian affirmation? Are our core values determined by the party that we follow or by the Person we claim to follow?
This question has to come to mind and needs to be addressed because for me and for many of us, we have been more confused and shocked by the disparity among Christians than by any other issue. How can the rank and file of an army which claims to follow the same Leader be marching in such different directions to such different tunes? How can disciples sit under the same Teacher, yet learn such different application? How can ambassadors of the same government and King support such different ideologies? How can all of us who say we are followers of Christ have such different worldviews about such important matters?
Christianity is more than receiving your personal salvation and on your way to heaven. Christianity is about impacting the world for Jesus Christ and being ministers of reconciliation. How do Christians impact the world when there is so much division and it is so evident to the world that we have differing values? What are we interested in reconciling the world to, our political views or party? Because that is the loudest message the Christians with the loudest voices have heralded in 2016 – not the God that they serve, but the candidate they support.
My heart has been broken this year to see the disparity among us who all claim to name the Name of Christ. People we all love sitting in opposite aisles have managed to cancel each other out as to making a positive impact on the world. Instead of letting our lights shine in a world of darkness, we have tried to snuff out each others’ light, so our candidate could win the election. And in the process, we have all lost.
As Joshua prepared to go into battle against Jericho, he encountered “a man”, the commander of the army of the Lord. Joshua asked the man, “Are you for us, or for our adversaries?” “NEITHER (emphasis mine), the man replied. This is a good place to state: God is neither Democrat nor Republican. So, we would do well to make sure we are on the Lord’s side instead of wondering is He on our side. Is the path we have chosen to walk the path that Jesus is on?
So, a suggestion for 2017. Let us live three years in one. In this New Year, why don’t we spend the year walking with Jesus during His three years on Earth? Let us sit with Him as He sat with sinners. Walk with Him as He healed the lame. Dine with Him as He feeds the hungry. Worship with Him as He sat in the temple. Pray with Him as He ascended the mountain. Sit at His feet as He teaches us who He is and what He believes.
Then if anything that Jesus does or says, contradicts your political affiliation, then you have a choice to make – But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.