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A Time for Transcendence

And for prayer.

The events of January 6, 2021 have left me profoundly shaken. I once swore that I would kill or be killed defending my country against all enemies foreign and domestic. Those who stormed our Capitol building claimed to be patriots, but they sought to either overthrow or intimidate the duly elected senators and representatives of the United States because of what these people fervently believe and were told was a stolen election. On some of the websites calling these people to Washington revolution was actively promoted. Despite proclamations of patriotism by those who perpetrated violence and destruction (not all who attended had violence on their minds), what they did was domestic terrorism—they became domestic enemies of our Republic. And what they did was criminal. Do patriots beat a Capitol policeman to death with a fire extinguisher?

Yet there is a deeper and more pernicious battle taking place and that came to the surface Wednesday. The storming of our Capitol only brought to light the wiles of our true enemy. Let me ask a few simple questions. Does our true enemy care if we support our President? Does he really care if we oppose our President? Does he really care if we believe the election was stolen from us or if we believe that it was legitimate? No. Our enemy pushes positions that divide us and create discord, especially among us, the community of believers. Our enemy is a god of chaos. Our enemy is a god of discord. Our enemy especially seeks to sow discord in those of us who claim to follow Jesus.

In the Middle Eastern mythology of Old Testament times, the dark sea was a symbol of people swimming helplessly in broiling waters of turmoil. The sea monster, Leviathan, the monster of chaos, swam in their midst, and created anger, violence, disruption. Leviathan is a symbol of our true enemy. In which seas are we going to swim? In the seas of darkness where Leviathan thrives, or in the calm lagoons of peace?

Brothers and sisters, this is not a time for partisanship. This is a time for those on both sides of the divide to unite and condemn violence. This is a time for those on both sides of the divide to pray for peace, for reconciliation, for repentance, but also to pray for justice and to pray that those who foment violence, discord and division be held accountable. Brothers and sisters, there are two sides and shades in between in the way we approach politics. But this is not the time for politics. This is the time to pray for peace and righteousness. This is a time to remember that you and I serve a King whose eternal realm and rule transcends the temporal politics that separate us here on earth. This is a time to remember that you and I are who are in Christ are blood brothers and sisters, that we are joint members in the family of God because we all share the blood of Jesus. Let us stand up to our true enemy. Our God is greater than Leviathan. Let us repent of our own sins and ask our Father to forgive us if we in anyway have contributed to the fragmentation of peace and harmony. This is the season of prayer. When the right season comes about later, may we pursue what we believe are the right politics and dialogue courteously with one another under the Biblical admonishment to do so with gentleness, reason and respect. Meanwhile, Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy.

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