On November 3, 2020, those who had not voted early in person or by mail went to their local voting station and cast ballots for what some claimed would be the most important election in our history as a nation! I wonder how many times that ‘urgency card’ has been played. Elections are about “Vision .”Who or what PARTY best represents my view or my dream for the future. We cast our votes based on past records of candidates, the present integrity and character of those persons, and the vision they project for us and that they hope to achieve for us.
“We the People of the United States of America, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessing of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution….”
We read these words today, and we know they were an expression of a vision our ‘founding fathers’ had for the future, but we debate what these words meant to them and to us today.
What does this vision have to do with the rest of the world, which our nation is only part of? Does the vision include responsibility for and to the other inhabitants of this planet? Who is ‘we‘?
Have ‘we’ become a ‘Chosen People’ who have forgotten that ‘Chosen’ by God is a call to be a people who will be the channel of God’s Blessing for all people, including generations to come?
‘We’ is about identity, and there is power for good and evil in identity! Just who do you think “I AM,” “YOU ARE,” or “WE ARE”?
What LABEL am I going to give ‘them,’ ‘you,’ or ‘me‘? Will that LABEL indeed be an IDENTITY or another way to dehumanize and treat ‘them,’ ‘you,’ or even ‘myself’ as less or more than is fair and just?
What is God’s vision or ‘label’ for you, me, or them? Are ‘they‘ created in the image of God or just ‘us’? Who does “For God so loved the world” include?
‘We’ are ‘human beings’ not ‘human doings,’ but ‘we’ put persons on pedestals or in prisons based on what ‘we’ do rather than who ‘we‘ truly are. Do ‘we‘ even pray to see the image of God in every person?
Could ‘we‘ start to change the ‘world‘ if we just started using the pronoun ‘we‘ rather than ‘us’ and ‘them,’ ‘you,’ ‘they,’ or all the other labels that separate rather than unite?
In 1983, I was asked a challenging question. “What do we as parents need to say to our children as they watch movies or hear news and predictions of a Nuclear War which might destroy our planet?” My answer was something like this; “if we ever choose to use Nuclear Weapons on each other, we will all be responsible for the destruction. Tell your children, “CHRIST IN YOU, CHRIST IN ME, CHRIST IN US, is the hope for all our futures.”
“And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” John 12:32
We lift Jesus up, not ourselves, and Jesus will unite us even to each other! We are citizens of His kingdom first.