JESUS – “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.” – John 14:15-17
I’m only going to talk about politics this morning to the extent that I’m disheartened at the way we seem to be engaging the process of a national election.
If you know me at all then you know that my use of the word “dishearten” is unusual, both in my writing and in my thinking. I’m one of those terminally optimistic people who doesn’t so much “see the world through rose-colored glasses” as experience life through the filter of my identity as a redeemed, blessed, grateful child of God.
This frustration is rooted in my observation that so many people seem to be allowing themselves to be manipulated by demagoguery – political discourse that appeals to fear, prejudice, and ignorance, fueled by half-truths and carefully constructed lies, incubated in discontent, stirred by a media more interested in sensation than substance, and served up by the cynical, the power-hungry, and the champions of self-interest.
My appeal, then, is to those who share my commitment to “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Philippians 4:8); those who believe that the heart of the Gospel is love; and those whose experience affirms that the evidence of Jesus at work in our lives is best summed up as “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (The Fruit of the Spirit, Galatians 5:22-23).
I’m appealing to us all to invite Jesus to occupy every small detail of our lives, to invite God to guide our thinking, and to invite the Holy Spirit to heal our cynical hearts, surrendering our self-interest, “doing nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regarding others as better than ourselves” (Philippians 2:3).
This idea also happens to be the substance of today’s devotional reading from REACHING TOWARD EASTER.
“Jesus promises the comfort of the Holy Spirit, God with us in every small detail of our lives. There is no magic to this concept, simply the promise of Jesus translated into love. – Reaching Toward Easter (Day Ten, page 37).
So you say you want to be a better citizen, voter, and change agent? Then follow Jesus more closely.