11th November 2012

Blog :: Reflection on Election Night Communion

Last Tuesday I hosted a communion service in my home. Tuesday was election Tuesday and the purpose of the event was to challenge Christians to demonstrate concretely that their allegiance to Jesus is more worthwhile, more important, than their political beliefs.

We set up a communion station with a Bible and the bread and the cup and invited participants to spend some time meditating on the Kingly rule of Jesus before taking the elements. We invited participants to stay afterwards to enjoy fellowship with the only stipulation being: No politics allowed!

This may have been the most counter-cultural thing I've ever done - and I say this as someone who grew up without a TV, never going to the movies, etc.

In my experience very conservative Christians frequently see the counter-cultural role their faith plays purely in the sense of negation. Unlike the world, they don't - don't take in media like movies and music, don't participate in activities that have historically had a less than moral association like dancing or playing some games or sports.

Many evangelicals on the other hand have rejected the exclusionary approach and instead seem to take a me-too approach to expressing the counter cultural aspects of their faith. And so we have Christian movies, Christian music, Christian Halloween parties and so on - just like the surrounding culture but with morally objectionable elements removed.

Neiher of these approaches has ever set right with me. But Tuesday night I did neither. The communion service was not an alternative to voting or a rejection - some who attended did vote and some chose not to. But we intended to proclaim our citizenship first and foremost in the Kingdom of heaven and I believe we suceeded! I invited a lot of people I know but actually got a young couple I had never met before (she found us via Rachel Held Evan's blog which mentioned the national event. The national Election Day Communion site listed our location).

We sat and talked, celebrating our common faith in Jesus. Instead of bemoaning or cheering the election results we talked together about our faith backgrounds and Church experiences. I ended the evening having no idea if my guests were liberals or conservatives - instead I know that they are my brother and sister in Christ!

I have political opinions. On some other night I would even be happy to share them. But on this night when the people all around, even many believers, were convinced that the most important question is whether you voted for the right man, I was happy to declare that God is in heaven and that Jesus is still Lord. Against this proclamation all else recedes to its rightful place. Making that declaration and living like it is so is more countercultural than anything else any Christian can do.

Posted on November 11th 2012, 10:31 PM

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