Today's reading from John 7 contained the title line for this post which seems appropriate today as I am being bombarded by conflicting political advertising, endless political convention coverage, and slings and arrows from politically inspired Facebook "friends," .
After this Jesus went about in Galilee. He did not wish to go about in Judea because the Jews were looking for an opportunity to kill him. Now the Jewish festival of Booths was near. So his brothers said to him, ‘Leave here and go to Judea so that your disciples also may see the works you are doing; for no one who wants to be widely known acts in secret. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.’ (For not even his brothers believed in him.) Jesus said to them, ‘My time has not yet come, but your time is always here. The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify against it that its works are evil. Go to the festival yourselves. I am not going to this festival, for my time has not yet fully come.’ After saying this, he remained in Galilee.The last few lines could be applied to either of our current Presidential candidates. One advertising P.A.C. will make claims against the other party's candidates, and these claims will be promulgated by Facebook lackeys. Such is American politics, and no candidate can escape accusations of deceit from the opposition when an election is this tight, nor are we, the crowd, always immune from the effects of the praise of their devoted followers.
But after his brothers had gone to the festival, then he also went, not publicly but as it were in secret. The Jews were looking for him at the festival and saying, ‘Where is he?’ And there was considerable complaining about him among the crowds. While some were saying, ‘He is a good man’, others were saying, ‘No, he is deceiving the crowd.’ Yet no one would speak openly about him for fear of the Jews. John 7:1-13 (NRSV)
Judging from the astute observations of the Gospel of John, politics does not appear to have changed much over the last two thousand years.
Seeing the similarity between then and now helps me see that Jesus was a polarizing figure, and thank God for that.
These days I am told that polarization is a bad thing.
Of course, my guy lost in the primaries because he was too polarizing, and I don't dare mention his name for fear of seeing ugly glares coming at me from both sides.
Please pray for our country. May God have mercy on us. May He help us to filter out the noise and discern His will, and may His will be done.