Some uplifting words for my Republican and Democratic friends
It certainly is an unnerving time for Christians, not only in the US of A but worldwide. We all held our breath as we saw the election poll escalate from “As if that would ever happen” to “Sweet mother of pearl, did that just happen?” Every Facebook feed was filled with memes, Clinton hate, more memes, Trump hate, voting sefies and I even saw a campaign to Vote for Pedro.
I can understand for many Americans this is a very scary time. There is now a lot of uncertainty looming over the political, social and economic state of the nation. The people wince at the volatility of such a tyrannical leader who could snap at any time and press the red button, nuking us all to kingdom come. Personally, I am not worried, but I certainly feel for my American bretheren and sisteretheren. Nobody knows what’s going to happen so we watch and we wait. We pray and hope to God that either we would wake up and this was all just a sick joke, or Jesus comes riding in on His cloud of glory ready to take all us SOB’s heavenward.
Either way, the people of ‘Murica have cast their vote and Trump has trumped us all. So, where does that leave the Christ-following law-abiding folk who just want to live peacefully by God’s principles? How are we to think, speak and act, when the nation’s leader makes a mockery of human rights, equality, acceptance and diversity, setting Mexicans and Muslims into a tailspin of alienation?
Rest assured dear Americans, this is nothing new. Racism, bigotry, misogyny and bad toupees has been around for a long time. Jesus walked the earth and lived under tyrannical, corrupt and self-righteous, crowd-pleasing leadership, and yet His final parting words before transportation to heaven was “Do you love me? Feed my sheep. Follow me.”
Jesus was hunted down by a national leader
It’s pretty unfortunate when you pop out of the womb, and before you’ve drawn your first breath the King of Judea and his entourage are thirsty for your blood. Isn’t exactly ideal circumstances for a newborn, and I’m pretty sure the topic of a massacre at the hands of a lunatic didn’t pop up in conversation when Gabriel delivered the news to Mary. Jesus began his early career as a refugee, on the run from a narcissistic maniac who frothed at the mouth every time he heard the crowds speak of this Jesus who would be the king of the Jews. Escaping to Egypt, Jesus lived a life on the run, until the last act where King Herod carks it and he can finally get on with being the Messiah and saving us all.
Jesus saw corruption, and it was a part of everyday life
But it doesn’t end there. Enter the Roman leaders, occupying Israel and oppressing its citizens, mislead, misguided and… Just being shitty humans to the poor and vulnerable who paid high taxes and received very little benefit in return. So what was Jesus’ take on leadership and how we are to respond? He said pay to Caesar what is Caesar’s. Pay your taxes. Abide by the rules. But, more than anything, love God and love thy neighbour. In John 14:15 Jesus exhorts his disciples, “If you love me, show it by doing what I’ve told you.”
Jesus went to church with deluded religious leaders
And then, there were the Pharisees and Sadducees. God is silent between Malachi and Matthew for about 400 years and I am convinced frontal lobotomies must have been introduced at this time because it’s simply unfathomable how these religious leaders that claimed to worship God didn’t even recognise Jesus. Not to mention, they conspired against him, beat and mocked him, and then finally execute him. I can just hear them all chorus, “sorrynotsorry.” But, that’s what leadership can do to you, making you all pious like the manager of morals, setting a ‘holier than thou’ standard that no one could ever live up to.
Misguided leadership manifests in many ways. Some overt, a la Donald Trump and his unmentionable fake tan (thou shalt not orange!) and some covert, where things just don’t seem to quite add up *cough cough* Hilary Clinton. In hindsight, we can look back and speculate how indeed America got into this mess. But I believe it is far better to look into the face of Jesus and remind ourselves that first and foremost, we follow him. He is the Good Shepherd, we are his sheep, we listen to his voice and we grow to become more like him. Presidents and Senates will come and go, the tide will change, the storms will come, but these things shall always remain: Faith, Hope and Love. And the best of the three is Love.
Now, go hug a Democratic. Or Republican. Or both (group hugs are acceptable).