So, the thing is… Jesus was political. There’s no side-stepping that if you read even one of the Gospels. Not to mention he was radical. Constantly challenging social and political norms, Jesus calls us to do the same. He worked on the Sabbath, for the good of the blind man. He ate with the tax collectors and prostitutes, for the sake of the sinners. He called fishermen and uneducated young men to be his disciples, to mentor the young.
Jesus wasn’t just out there preaching and breaking bread for 5,000 people for the fun of it. He had a real message. One that wasn’t exactly popular among those who were in charge. He calls us to reach out to the friendless, love our enemies, and offer a hand up to the downtrodden. All of these things are difficult. And all of these things are political.
Maybe you hate politics and fighting and the division that it has caused in our country. Then I challenge you to stop it. “Be the good you wish to see in the world.” If you hate politics and what they do to people, do the opposite. Stand up for what you believe in. Reach across the aisle. Some things can be compromised on, but others can’t, and that’s okay. This is a messy, complicated world that we live in and everything isn’t always black or white. Many times decisions are made in the gray.
However, striving to love your neighbor whether they love Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump is one thing that is non-negotiable in God’s handbook. Someone’s political affiliation doesn’t make him/her a bad person or a good person. A Democrat and a Republican can have similar morals, but vary completely on the way to bring about justice and change.
The bottom line is, Jesus was political. But if you don’t want to be, make sure at the very least you are following his command to love your neighbor as yourself.