Rev. Logan Keck is the pastor of CTK JP/Roxbury. He wrote this letter to his congregation the day following Election Day. We're sharing it here as an encouragement for our whole church.
Like most of you, I awoke this morning to a flood of texts and social media posts about the results from last night's election. They ranged from extreme excitement to deep distress. Several people have already spoken to me about their genuine fear for their families, while others have written to tell me we are at the dawn of a new era of prosperity.
I am extremely grateful for God's providence for our church this fall. Studying the book of Daniel has given us a great lens for viewing the rulers of this world. So, as we take the day to digest the election results, I want to point you to some things the scriptures tell us about how we should live as followers of Christ.
1. This world is not our home
In 1 Peter, God addresses the church as the "elect exiles" dispersed around the world. Throughout scripture we are reminded that the ultimate allegiance of the people of God belongs not to any nation or ruler, but to Christ and his kingdom. Jesus is still on the throne today. His kingdom is eternal. Practically, that means while our earthly leaders may change, the way we live as followers of Christ does not.
Especially in a time where the country is divided, God's people should strive to be a light to the world around them. We should be faithful to Christ's call to love our neighbor as ourselves, to welcome the stranger, and to care for those in need.
The command to love our neighbor also means, as difficult as it may seem, we should care for all those around us. Whatever side you found yourself on this morning, I want to encourage you to remember that the people standing across the aisle from you are made in the image of God. He loves and cares for them and you are called to love them.
Loving our neighbors also means we need to take people's fears seriously and not dismiss them with clichés or platitudes. This world is not our home, but it does matter. God's plan is for the redemption of the earth and our call is to "seek the peace of the city." Christians should be concerned with the outcome of elections, and they should desire the best for their community. For that reason, many in our community feel genuinely hurt or fearful today. As always we should embrace those who are feeling marginalized and we should remember the church is a place where we can share our fears and find hope in the Gospel.
2. The country is divided, but the Kingdom of God is not
It seems to me that the predominant narrative post-election is the racial and class divide amongst voters, but we don’t need statistics to tell us there is a division. We see it every day in our communities and on the news. It's times like this when we especially need to remember the picture the New Testament gives us of God's people:
After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
In the midst of an increasingly divided world, the church has a unique opportunity to testify to the power of God in our unity. Let's remember that the only one powerful enough to unite a diverse people is not a Republican or a Democrat, but the King of Kings. Christ's kingdom has come and it is coming. Now more than ever, simply showing this reality in the way we worship together and fellowship throughout the week is a powerful testament to our great God.
3. Our leaders are given by God—both the good ones and the bad
Regardless of how we feel about our new president or our other elected leaders, scripture tells us very clearly that they are given to us by God and it is our duty to pray for them as they lead. So in the coming weeks and months as we watch them take office and govern, rather than placing our hopes or fears in how they wield their power, let's trust and pray to the One who gave it to them and, as with every king and president who has come before, will one day take it away.
Grateful for you all,