These readings come at a very interesting time: election season.
Neighborhoods are canvassed with signs broadcasting the names of candidates. Our doors are answered to the tune of, “Can I have a moment of your time?” We navigate social media, TV ads, and debates that often contain “false accusations” and “malicious speech” about opponents, social groups, and individuals in our society. It can be a time of coming together or a time of greater division.
Nonetheless, at the end of it all we have the ability to choose who to follow. You could argue that Jesus was a great politician. He empathized with those who were oppressed, reassuring them that their voices would be heard. He dined with tax collectors and enlisted their support in bringing about the Kingdom of God, even though they had participated in creating a system of oppression.
Like the candidates we see and read about, Jesus does have a platform. He brings renewal, restoration, and repair to each of us. His words, taken at their purest sense, cannot, should not, and do not divide us. His message “gives us plenty even on parched land,” and we “shall be like watered gardens.” Jesus is not the exclusive champion of any one side, group, or person. Jesus came to be a healer of us all.
He has chosen us; have we chosen Him?
- When and where have I allowed harmful division to enter my spiritual and/or social life?
- How should I respond to “false accusations” and “malicious speech” said about my fellow brothers and sisters?
- What areas of my life need renewal, restoration, repair and how can I allow Jesus to be a part of this process?
Justin T. White is a theology teacher at Loyola Blakefield in Towson, Maryland.