If you are like me and you love to keep up with what is going on in politics, especially at the national level, then I’m sure this season of presidential debates with its record-breaking viewership, has kept you glued to the screen. The climate that exists in the current race for president of the United States is in many ways unprecedented. In all my years, I have never seen such deplorable conduct on the part of many of the candidates as I am witnessing in this current political season. In my opinion, instead of the debates being a vehicle for intellectual dialogue and exchange, they appear to have been transformed into events that rival that of Wrestle Mania. It’s one thing to have differences of opinions over the issues, but it’s another thing when what takes place is the hurling back and forth of a bunch of mindless infantile insults.
In 2008 when the then Junior Senator from Illinois, Barack Obama was running for the office of president, one of the insults that some of his opponents hurled at him was that he had very little political experience, other than being a community organizer that is. Well, we all know how that story ended. But what I had trouble understanding then, as I still do to this day, is what made his detractors think that being able to organize people into communities was a bad thing. When you stop and think about it for a moment, isn’t that what this country is made up of, communities of people large and small, rural and urban? And as I’ve have been saying over the past several weeks, isn’t a place where people can feel a sense of community and connectedness the thing that they are searching for?
Although the best community organizer that ever lived never ran for public office, he did organize a small group that eventually took the world by storm. And although his “campaign” slogan, if you please, may sound somewhat egotistical in nature, it has served to galvanize communities from all backgrounds throughout the ages. And what is his slogan you ask? Simply, “And if I be Lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men unto me.” That’s it! No, it’s not a message that tears anyone down or makes those who may differ with his views feel as though they cannot be a part. Instead it is a message that gives everyone an opportunity to be a part of this community regardless of who they are or where they’re from. And if Jesus is willing to make that opportunity available to everyone, then so should we.