Every four years I think the politics of our presidential election cycle can’t get any worse. Then the next cycle comes and it, well…
This year has seemed particularly odd, and not in a good way. There’s been a lot of yelling, for one thing. And name-calling. And fear mongering. (Oh, and run-on sentences. But that doesn’t speak to today’s subject.)
Trying to instill fear, or capitalizing on people’s current fears, doesn’t seem to me as though it should be a good thing for presidential candidates to do. Yet, they all seem to do it. Some more than others.
Are we supposed to be afraid of our neighbors who carry guns, or those who are opposed to their neighbors carrying guns? Afraid of people who practice a different religion from ours? People who come from another country? Afraid enough of one candidate’s rhetoric and positions to vote for his/her opponent, whether or not we like the opponent?
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. [from John 14]
Jesus, at his final meal before his death, talks to his friends about peace and fear. Fear isn’t Jesus’ way; it’s the way of the world, whether we identify “the world” as our culture, our politicians, sometimes even our faith communities or our own selves.
The way of Jesus—the gift of Jesus—is peace.
© 2016, Melissa Bane Sevier