Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Election Day 2016 And Our Diversity

Galatians 3:26-29

26 You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

RayMcDI have often been asked – at each church I have served – what I appreciate the most about the current church I am serving. One thing I appreciate about First UMC in Laurel is the diversity of our congregation.

When asked recently – I went on to explain what I meant by diversity. I told them of our wide range of ages at FUMCL – from a member who is 101 to youth and children. I mentioned our growing multi-ethnic flavor at FUMCL – with many hues of people. I mentioned our economic diversity as well – with some people on government assistance while others had well-paying jobs. The diversity I see at FUMCL reminds me of what I think heaven will be like – people of all races and nations – loving on Jesus.

As the elections approach – I see another diversity at FUMCL. As I read posts on social media from our members – I see our diversity around politics. There were a number of people I love and respect from our church expressing support for either candidate and for no candidate at all. (I believe Christians could vote for either candidate – God is not Democratic or Republican).

Paul radically wrote these words – given him by God – in his day. You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. Diversity in Paul’s day was not a good thing. If you weren’t Jewish but rather a Gentile – you were seen as a pagan – a Godless person. If you were female you were property. If you were a slave you had not rights whatsoever. It was a radical concept to say there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Paul suggested that we didn’t need to be a Jewish free male to be a follower of Christ.

If I were to be so bold as to re-write this passage in today’s context it might read like this. You are all sons and daughters of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, democrat nor republican, liberal nor conservative, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

MyJesusKingI saw something recently that touched my heart. A number of people on both sides of the election put up a picture that said No Matter Who’s President, Jesus Is King. I’m so glad that in the diversity at FUMCL and other churches I have served – and there is much diversity – we can stand together behind Jesus and stand together against sin. Our politics may be different – but our love for Jesus is what connects us as the Body of Christ. There is unity in Christ – even though we are diverse.

Moving forward – the election always stings some and uplifts others. If our country is to pull itself out of our national debt and become a strong nation again we will need to work together. In our church – if we are to become a beacon of light on Main Street – we must use our diversity as a strength – even as we line up behind Jesus. We must keep our eyes on Jesus and not on our diversity or the storms around us. We must stand opposed to sin and stand firm for truth.

I love our church family – with all of its diversity. I will love our church family before – during – and after Election Day. Whether our candidate is elected or isn’t – we are one in Christ for we are all one in Christ Jesus. If we belong to Christ, then we are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

1 Timothy 2:1-4 – I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone– for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men (people) to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

Advertisements

October 24, 2016 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology, Vision, Worship | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: