Sunday, November 13, 2016

Election Reflections

A large group of Christians gathered on a Social Media chat to “discuss” the US Presidential election. There were conservatives, liberals, progressives in the chat. Moderates, too.  Complementarians, egalitarians. Believers of all shapes, colors, sizes, nationalities, denominations and doctrinal beliefs.

A lot of snarky comments were tossed back and forth. Vile, hateful memes traded.  Jesus entered the discussion and keyboards grew still. 

“Hey, I meant it when I said ‘where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am among them’. There are definitely more than two of you here and you say you’re my followers.  Why are you so surprised that I’m joining in your chat?”

Some people left the room, but many stayed on.  A lot of “Thumbs Up” emojis appeared.  Smiley Faces, too.  And of course, some Praying Hands. But no one said anything. 

Then one brave participant, a lawyer jumped in to the discussion. 

“Lord, I just want to make sure of this.  What shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

“What is written in the Law? How do you read it?”

The lawyer’s feed went still for a moment then this appeared:

27 And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”

Jesus smiled. “That was quick. BibleGateway is really handy. You’ve answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”

The lawyer was embarrassed it had been obvious he’d copied and pasted from Bible Gateway. Desiring to justify himself he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

Jesus replied, “You’ve heard the story of the Good Samaritan, so I won’t repeat it.  I’ll be brief.  Everyone’s your neighbor.”

The audience sat silently in front of their keyboards as the implications of His words penetrated their hearts. Not even an emoji was sent.

One person finally typed “????” 

“Everyone.”

“Donald Trump!!??”

“Donald Trump”, Jesus posted.

“Hilary Clinton!!??” another asked, incredulously.

“Hilary Clinton.” Jesus paused for effect and then typed “Bill Clinton, too.”

“Rosie O’Donnell?  Alec Baldwin?”

“Yes to both.  All the Baldwin brothers, in fact.  And I need to remind you that Stephen Baldwin is not just your neighbor but your brother. He’s a believer, too.” Jesus continued, “I’ve said this before, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you. If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? Be merciful as your Father is merciful. It’s all in the Bible.”

At this point, many people left the chat. Some made final derogatory comments and posted a few mean-spirited and obscene memes. But Jesus did not reply to the insults hurled at Him.  He’d been through this before.

But there were still a number of people remaining in the Chat.  There were conservatives, liberals, and progressives. Moderates, too.  Complementarians, egalitarians. Believers of all shapes, colors, sizes, nationalities, denominations and doctrinal beliefs. One woman commented “Lord, that’s hard!”

“I know”, Jesus replied

Those remaining paused as each felt a stirring in their souls, the implication of His response washing over them.  It was a twinge of guilt mixed with a generous helping of mercy.

“I don’t even know where to begin!” many lamented.

“Why not start with I Corinthians 13; there’s nice list of possibilities there.  It’s not just meme material or a screen saver. It’s how I love you – patient, kind… Why not start with kind?”

“Do Facebook Likes and posts count?” one person joked.

“Oh, yes! What comes out of the mouth and the keyboard proceeds from the heart. A meme I saw recently said ‘Tweet others as you want others to tweet you.’ J

“Uh, Lord I’ve got to go.  I’ve got some apologies to make.  And some Facebook posts to delete.”

Though none really wanted to leave the presence of their Lord, they felt the same urgency.


Jesus reassured them telling them “It’s ok to go.  I’m always near.  I am with you always to the end of the age.”
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