World

We Need God’s Intervention

Thoughts on Healing America’s Political Divide

January 19, 2021 by

Ship in a Storm by Henry Ossawa Tanner
Ship in a Storm by Henry Ossawa Tanner. Public domain.

Compounding the effects of the pandemic, the events that have unfolded in Washington, DC, over the past two weeks have been shaking to witness – images of violence and anger at the very heart of the nation. If we are honest, it can make us discouraged and fearful about what lies ahead, on Inauguration Day and beyond.

Clearly, we live in a time in which, more than ever, we need God’s intervention to help us seek what heals and unites rather than what stokes the fires of division and hate. As Christians, we are called to bear witness to the unending love of God, to follow his way and obey his commandments. At this moment, when political passions are so inflamed, we would do well to remember the exhortation in Galatians to show the fruits of the Spirit: “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Gal 5:22-24). Indeed, against these virtues there is no law. If each of us seeks to live these values with greater fidelity, and seeks to overcome the evils of the world first within our own hearts, it could be an important step towards healing America and the world.

This week, as we remember the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., I am struck by the timeliness of his words in his 1967 sermon “Why Jesus Called a Man a Fool”:

God is still around. One day, you’re going to need him. The problems of life will begin to overwhelm you; disappointments will begin to beat upon the door of your life like a tidal wave. And if you don’t have a deep and patient faith, you aren’t going to be able to make it.

These are important words for all to heed. As some commentators talk about the foundations of the United States being shattered, let us never forget the rock that is the only sure foundation, and be encouraged that God is still with us. Politics will always be fraught with disappointments, scandals, and compromises, but God points us to a greater kingdom that is coming. In that promise lies our hope, not in the capitals of earthly power nor in human leaders.

The end of one presidential administration and the beginning of another is a wonderful opportunity to find new ways to support and love each other with compassion, persistent prayers, and confidence in God’s kingdom. May God grant each of us the strength to do that, and to grasp anew the truth of those simple yet powerful words, “In God we trust.”

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Paul Winter

Paul Winter

Paul Winter serves as the Elder of the Bruderhof. He lives with his wife, Betty, at the Maple Ridge Bruderhof.

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