The inauguration of Donald J. Trump is just around the corner and no matter what side of the aisle you are on, this reality seemed far fetched just a few short months ago. The nation has been and continues to be divided on so many issues that it would be difficult to list them. I was struck today by the contrast of voices and intensity that seemed to ignore the ‘other side.’
The community that I have the privilege of serving is working on a short series through the book of Ecclesiastes in the Old Testament of the Bible; a book dedicated to learnings and lessons of the wisest human to ever live. Solomon has so much to tell us about life and the way to live it where we can have less regrets and more meaningful engagement in the moments we are provided.
Last week we looked at Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 and Solomon’s words rang just as true now as they did nearly three-thousand years ago:
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.”
For some, tomorrow is a season of celebration and for others it is a time of grieving. We do not spread peace or joy by pretending that our celebration is better than their grief or that our grief invalidates their celebration. There are reasons for both and it is not the time to pretend our perspective is the only one being experienced or felt.
Especially as a follower of Jesus I sense a deep need to be compassionate towards others in this time. I’m already praying for our incoming and outgoing leaders but I’m also drawn to pray for those who live inside the echo chamber of their own opinion, we must strive for greater perspective and understanding.