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Montana Bishop Laurie Jungling’s Post-Election Message
“Clothed in Love”
November 4, 2020
Christ’s grace and peace to you on this day following the election in our nation. Today you may be experiencing a whirlwind of emotions and a waterfall of thoughts surging through your minds, bodies, hearts and spirits. Perhaps its happiness and gratitude that the results went the way you wanted. Perhaps its impatience and frustration as you wait for results to come in. Maybe its anger or sadness that the results didn’t go your way or fear and anxiety over imagined and real consequences we might face. Apathy, cynicism, distraction, elation, disappointment, and worrying about what’s next…all this and more may be rumbling through you right now. And these feelings and thoughts that accompany them are understandable and very real during times like these.
But even in the midst of these thoughts and feelings, we as followers of Christ are called to something different. We are called to place a different reality at the center of all others swirling around us.
That reality is: God is God and we are God’s chosen, holy and beloved. All of us, we who follow Christ and live in his light are God’s chosen, beloved and holy in Christ. No matter how we voted, no matter the outcomes, no matter how others may be reacting to them, we as followers of Christ have a higher calling and a clearer command.
Paul writes in Colossians 3: “As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
Love “Jesus-style” is our wardrobe and our way of life. Love is our vocation and our central value that guides everything we do. And in this call, command, and identity as God’s beloved and holy chosen, we have the responsibility to manage our thoughts and emotions toward love and healthy relationship with others (justice).
In Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit we must manage and guide our emotions and thoughts; they cannot control us. We as the beloved of God don’t get to fall into sin-filled reactions like malice, violence, deceit, slander, boasting, heartlessness, quarrels, dissensions, factions, envy or using our freedoms for self-indulgence.
Instead we get to proclaim God’s divine, loving and merciful lordship in and for this world. We get to proclaim Christ’s salvific healing, reconciliation, and new life. We get to proclaim the Spirit’s life-creating wind of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and yes, self-control that are blowing through this world today and everyday.
God is God and we are God’s chosen, holy and beloved, clothed in God’s grace-filled love for service into the world no matter what it looks like.
And so today, dwelling in Christ’s word of Love, let us rejoice with those who have been given the honor to serve us and this nation in public service and let us suffer with those who are suffering loss, holding on to the compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, patience, forgiveness and love that binds everything together in perfect harmony as we live in Christ Jesus, the Lord of ALL. May God bless, keep and encourage you in his peace during these days.