Not by appearance shall he judge, not by hearsay shall he decide,
But he shall judge the poor with justice and decide fairly for the land’s afflicted. Is.11:3-4
I think it’s safe to say that the past month has been…well…a bit crazy. The 2016 Presidential election was one that left many of us feeling bewildered, battered and at times, breathless. I personally watched in horror as friendships ended and even witnessed a temporary marriage separation due to a clash of political beliefs.
But despite the ballot boxes being closed and the winner being announced, we are finding ourselves standing in an aftermath of total divisiveness, fear, and at times even hate. Logging onto social media serves as a constant reminder that we are broken. It’s draining and disheartening.
The beautiful thing, however, is that as God’s people, we have LIGHT at the end of the tunnel. And that light is The Coming of Jesus our Lord and King! Advent is a time for us to remember that despite what is happening in the world – the Presidential election, hunger, human trafficking, terrorism – Jesus is coming. And He is bigger than all of that, and not only is he bigger than it, but he ABOLISHES all of it.
The reading from Isaiah this week reminds us of this, emphasizing that it is not our human eyes or ears that get to make the ultimate judgement call on another human being or group of human beings. It is the Spirit of the Lord who does this, and only through accepting His wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, and knowledge are we truly able to live out and work toward the righteousness He has intended for us. When we give ourselves to God and accept His will, when we allow the Holy Spirit to guide our life decisions, and when we walk in Jesus’ footsteps, then and only then will we be truly capable of loving one another in the way that God intended. And then and only then will the wolf live peacefully with the lamb, the leopard with the goat, etc.
I have a challenge for us this Advent season. Starting with the next several weeks, let’s forget all political affiliations when it comes to speaking to and interacting with the people around us – co-workers, family, friends, etc. When we put aside our own judgements and invite God to work through us in our relationships, we serve as living examples of living righteously and with wisdom. Then, and only then, will we “stand as a banner for the peoples.”
Prayer for an Open Heart
Holy Spirit, fill me with your wisdom and courageousness to see only the good soul of this person. Please help me to forget any and all negative thoughts or feelings that I may have created about this individual, and to see them only as they are, my brother/sister in Christ. Thank you for allowing me the chance to re-energize and renew this relationship through your guidance and power. Amen.