More and more I find myself worried about, November 9th, the day after the election. Regardless of who wins, we are still going to have to come together as a country and function. We know as St. Luke tells us "Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more." And we have undoubtedly been entrusted with much more.
In today's reading from Ephesians, St. Paul tells us how to act toward one another.
Be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ.
In the Greek, the three words kind, compassionate, and forgiving are side by side.
The word kind can also be translated as well-mannered. I feel like an old man when I have to say things like this, but it seems that we have all but given up on the concept of manners. We somehow fell into the erroneous belief that we have a right to express our feelings in all times and places. One of things that separates adults from children is the ability to monitor and judge the feeling that rise up in us and know which are worthy of expression and which are not, how to be be considerate of others.
The word St. Paul uses for compassionate can also be translated as tender-hearted. To some in our culture that sounds unmanly. But look at the alternative, hard-hearted. There is no middle space. We are one or the other. Which will you be?
Most important is the last word, forgiving. St. Paul tells us that we must be forgiving of one another as God has forgiven us in Christ. And if we look at the whole New Testament, we are told repeatedly that we will be judged as we judge, and forgiven as we forgive.
This year offers us as Christians an opportunity to stand out from the crowds and witness to our faith. While others around us yell insults, we can show that we are followers of Christ by being kind,compassionate, and forgiving.