They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. -Romans 1:25, NIV
Sometimes, we are going along in life and minding our own business when something stops us dead in our tracks. Sometimes this thing can be good, or it can be bad. Last week, we had both. Last week, history said to us, “There is some good news and some bad news.”
On January 6, 2021, a group of disgruntled and violent rioters raided the US Capitol after their leader, Donald Trump, incited their emotions and gave them the idea and the license to express their discontent with the November presidential election results. Trump’s continued false claim (lie) of electoral fraud created the conditions for the sad turn of events.
If you are alive, you have never seen such a sight. The US Capitol’s last breach was more than 200 years ago in 1814 when the British burned Washington during the War of 1812. However, the January 6 raid was orchestrated by US citizens and was instigated by a US president.
Further down the east coast, in November 2020, the will of the people of Georgia spoke as they turned their state back to blue. FYI, in 1992, Georgia voted blue in support of electing Bill Clinton as president. In 1980, Georgia voted blue in support of President Jimmy Carter. Georgia didn’t stop with the presidential election. It decided to make history.
On January 5, 2021, the will of the people elected Raphael Gamaliel Warnock and Thomas Jonathan Ossoff as its senators. While Georgia has elected Democratic senators in the past, in this senatorial election, it did something unique and special.
Ossoff is the first Millennial senator to be elected and the first Jewish member of the Senate from Georgia.
Warnock is Georgia’s first African-American senator and the first African-American Democrat senator from a former Confederate state.
These conflicting events point to the fact that we have a long way to go in this country. We are not looking like the United States. As we continue to spiral, we are looking more like the disunited states. In fact, we have never really been all that united. We have been fighting each other since we got here – whether by choice or by force. We are rooted in a history of fighting.
Yet, there is still hope. We can’t lose hope because it is the one thing that keeps us going. We can’t lose heart. We can’t let our hearts be corrupted by the negative events of our recent past. We cannot let hurt and anger determine what we do or think about ourselves as a nation or as citizens of this nation.
Our ancestors never gave up hope. Our ancestors all wanted better for us. They may have been on different sides of the fence, but the ones who truly understood what Jesus was trying to accomplish wanted better for us. They saw the light that Jesus was shining and decided to follow that light, even if it meant fighting evil face to face.
The problem is not fighting. The problem is when evil tries to make dark look like light. When protests turn into rioting, we are not fighting on the side of the Lord. When disagreements become dangerous, we are not fighting on the side of the Lord. When we take a life, instead of giving life, we are not on the side of the Lord. When we let lies cause us to act evil, we are not on the side of the Lord.
Today, as we reflect on the bad, let us not forget the good. Let us not forget that God is still with us. We are not even 500 years old as a nation. We are not even 250 years old as a nation. There are nations a lot older than us who have been through as much drama as we have. Yet, they have managed to survive. Why? They never lost hope. We cannot lose hope.
Christians, our hope is in Christ Jesus, not in another human. If we believe in Christ, we are called to act like it. We are called to act like the One who died so we never lose life or hope.