The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:5-6)
I'm drawn to politics as moth to flame. It's like following a sport, but there is a downside. My soul is singed daily by the manipulation, half-truthing (my term) and fear mongering. Nobility of service is co-opted and corrupted. The path to power can be a low road.
Our presidential primary is very much at odds with the current season of Epiphany. In the spiritual realm we celebrate Christ's inclusive mission across the planet. "Love your neighbor" is defined and pursued broadly. In politics, fuming and feuding, we choose sides. "Love your neighbor" is narrowly drawn.
In an election, we only get one vote. It's a blessing that we can pray repeatedly...for our elected officials and our government.
Are we like your Nazareth neighbors? They wanted to "take back their country," to be restored as "the chosen people."
But you were not (you are not) that kind of Messiah. Politics and policy were not your cause. You vie for our hearts. You didn't come to organize. Healing is your platform.
You came with an invitation for everyone to share in the Kingdom of God; to share the good news of God's loving presence, care and mercy.
But they ran you out of Nazareth. That kind of preaching and teaching eventually got you killed.
Fast forward to Epiphany 2016, a season to celebrate and emphasize the Kingdom's inclusiveness. Instead, we covet the good old days, cleave to our clan and rain down judgement on others. Our hearts shrivel.
Oh Lord, send your Spirit! Transform these extra small hearts - that we would welcome your teaching and embrace the life you offer. Amen. Graphic credit