Nothing is solved, really. Nothing has changed. The enmity that divided this nation last night divides us today.
There’s no more peace today than yesterday, because peace isn’t found in a president elect or a political party. Whether we’re celebrating or grieving this morning, tensions that simmered and spilled into this election remain today, and peace will be found only one way.
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).
While we were still ____________.
Fill in the blank.
While I was still consumed with food and body image, as a bulimic teenager and for decades as an exhausted adult struggling to remain a path to walking free.
While I drank and chased after any instant gratification with an empty promise to make me feel loved or better about myself.
While my husband and I were still fighting ruthlessly for our own selfish desires.
While I was refusing to yield control to God and fully trust Him.
While race and economic status divide this country.
While one is jobless, hurting and needing hope.
While a child makes bad choices that land them and others in a world of hurt.
While a loved one fights cancers.
While a family grieves for the one whose battled ended in death.
While nations crumble, economies tank, companies downsize, racial tensions increase, division threatens, regimes change, legislation alters freedoms, agendas clash, morals decline, stability wavers, and so on.
While we were still _____________.
Christ died for us.
God demonstrates His love for us. Present tense. Now. Always. He demonstrates His love for us in Christ and His death for us.
In the Greek the word for demonstrates is synistēmi, a compound word used in scripture to mean:
- to place together, to set in the same place, to bring or band together; to stand with (or near)
- to set one with another; by way of presenting or introducing him; to comprehend
- to put together by way of composition or combination, to teach by combining and comparing; to show, prove, establish, exhibit
- to put together, unite parts into one whole; to be composed of, consist
God stands with us in love toward us in Christ Jesus and His death for us even while we are still sinners! By His grace and through faith, He sets us together with Christ as His very own child and heir. He sets us together with Christ at a His right hand in heavenly places. Together with Him.
It’s a picture of the ultimate unity, even while we are yet sinners. He proves His love. Exhibits it. He unites parts into a whole so that the whole is composed of its many parts. But it’s whole. Like the body of Christ, made up of millions of individuals brought together to be one whole body unified by the blood of Jesus and His love for us. Loved by Him and called to love as Him and for Him and like Him so people know we are His. So people see Him in us in a way that draws them to Him. Demonstrating love that stands with and brings together and proves itself by dying. Dying to our selfish desires. Dying to our strong opinions. Dying to our ease and pleasure. Dying to our desire for comfort and gratification and convenience. Dying to being right and having the upper hand. Dying to control and power.
Even while we are still a hot mess in our own lives and struggles and circumstances and even while everything around us is a hot mess, God stands with us in His love for us in Christ Jesus and His death for us even while we are still sinners! He stands with us to unite us and bring us together, first reconciling us to Himself by the blood of Jesus and then reconciling us to each other. Reconciling us to the same page: His page. The pages of His word where we can unite around what He says and what He wants instead of jockeying for our own way.
No matter what is or isn’t happening the way we want it, no matter the challenges we face, no matter the bullet we feel we dodged or the bullet we feel just hit its mark in the center of our hearts, while we go about life with or without faith in Jesus, Christ died for us.
The Lord is at work. The Lord has a plan. Grace is given. The Lord takes wicked hearts of stone and replaces them with hearts of flesh. Tender hearts made like the rich, pliable soil of a fertile field ready for its Farmer to bring forth a mighty harvest for His glory.
The time is now. The responsibility lies not on a president elect or a branch of government. It lies not in the passing or repealing of legislation. It lies not in finding middle ground or common ground or a way to cross the aisle and work together. The responsibility for peace lies with Jesus Christ and those called by His name to be peacemakers. Reconcilers. Those whose hearts contain an eternal hope that does not disappoint because it’s sealed by the Holy Spirit Himself. Those who are called to love like Jesus loved. Jesus, who while we were still ______________, died for us.
While someone is still supporting the other side of the dividing issue, will we yet lay our lives down for them and love them like Christ did for us?
While someone still hates us and wants to take our freedoms from us, will we yet lay our lives down for them and love them like Christ did for us?
While someone still feels like the brunt of our injustice, will we yet lay down our lives for them and love them like Christ did for us?
There is a middle wall of separation that divides us from God when we are yet sinners and threatens to divide this country. Nothing but the blood of Jesus can break down a middle wall of separation
For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation (Ephesians 2:14).
If we want true peace, we must turn to the Prince of Peace and allow His peace to rule and reign and guard our hearts as He breaks down the middle walls of separation first between us and a holy God and then between us as divided people.
Sweet Jesus, break down the middle walls of separation that divide this nation and be our Peace.
 “G4921 – synistēmi – Strong’s Greek Lexicon (KJV).” Blue Letter Bible. Web. 9 Nov, 2016. <https://www.blueletterbible.org//lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G4921&t=KJV>.