The Morning After is a 1986 crime mystery starring Jane Fonda and Jeff Bridges. The movie is about a washed-up, alcoholic actress who wakes up on Thanksgiving 1986 next to a murdered man. She does not remember anything from the night before. She calls her friend trying to retrace her steps. He informs her that she missed out on getting what could have been her best gig in a while the night before because she was drunk and rude. The movie title has become a cliché of sorts to describe the feeling of waking up in a daze, not recalling what happened the night before and left with a big problem on your hands. Unfortunately, in our time, the phrase “The Morning After” has more connection with the Plan –B drug (Morning After Pill) than with the movie by the same name. It’s sad that in just 34 years that phrase has become more recognizably attached to something so different and destructive to our society than the original.
This is a perfect comparison to how many Americans faced the news this morning. In times past, the morning after a Presidential election, the question would be who won? Will it be four more years or will it be a new administration in January? Will the stock market rise or fall at the opening bell? As it turned out, these were questions on the minds of Americans this morning, but a quick follow up question was equally a valid concern; what cities were burned down overnight?
Never before have we seen major cities warning business owners to “board-up” on the eve of an election. Never have we seen the National Guard on standby to protect government buildings from “protesters.” What does this say about the state of our union? In a series of 13 reflections posted on Facebook, Family Research Council Senior Fellow Joseph Backholm shares what he thinks the last few days say about our nation. All of his points are worth considering but two stuck out with me:
7. The fact that there is a bipartisan expectation of riots and destruction means that in really important ways everyone has already lost. The peaceful transfer of power and faith in our institutions has been a critical part of our national success. If we've lost that, it's a bigger issue than the guy in the White House.
11. There is a short-term upside to Biden winning. I'd prefer not to have any riots. https://www.facebook.com/joseph.backholm/posts/10217760333696146
This election has told us more about who we are as a Nation than we would like to admit. In a few days we will know who the people selected to be President and at that moment we have a choice. In the very near future we have to address the deep relational rifts exposed by the process of selecting candidates for public office. The nation will have to determine how to move forward and more than that, the Church has to decide how to move forward. What we have witnessed in both arenas is that people get so angry when someone doesn’t agree with them. In too many cases, we want to win more than we want to be right. With that attitude, no one wins!
The thing that Jesus prayed hardest for on our behalf (All Believers that were to come) was that we would be unified. In John 17: 21 He asks the Father “that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” Notice the result of His request, “so the world may believe.” Jesus Saves! May the Church never look to government to save, that would be the worst kind of “Morning After” flip. Elections matter! The results of elections matter even more! But maybe the thing that matters most is how the world sees the Believer respond in difficult situations. Where do we place our faith? In Jesus or in Government? Jesus realized He couldn’t accomplish what was before Him without unity with the Father. May we too realize we can’t accomplish our mission without the unity of the Body in the fact that the only thing that will bring lasting peace in the Prince of Peace!
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35
Serving the Savior,
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