My wife and I were listening to a podcast on the current political situation. Candidates were pointing their fingers at each other, blaming these opponents for the world’s woes. At the same time, they were trying to claim that they were themselves somehow responsible for whatever was going well.
In this, it didn’t seem to make much difference whether the candidates were Democrat, Republican, Communist, Libertarian, or something else. They were right, and everyone else was wrong. The net result they all desire is that they or their candidates win the upcoming elections. St. Paul said in verse 7 of our reading: “Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.”
He continued in the following verses:
Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments, "You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet," and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
So why is it that we see and hear so much bitterness, apparent falsehood, hatred, and vitriol at this time? Many will attribute it to political angst, desire, distrust of politicians, and so on—but it still boils down to sin in its various forms. Sin affects us. Sin will discourage us, offend us, and disappoint us. Sin can and will destroy us. So, what is to be done about sin in the world and sin in each of us?
There is only one thing to do: repent of our personal sins, lay them at the base of Christ’s cross, and seek and claim the full and free forgiveness God offers all who confess their need for forgiveness and claim what Jesus has won for all people on Calvary’s cross. That is where we will find what we truly want and need. This is truly the love that “does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” It is Jesus Christ who shed His blood and then reclaimed His life and complete victory over sin, death and the devil! This is the love that does no wrong!
We pray: O God Almighty, in this age of political and economic uncertainty, give us that which is sure, solid, and true: Your Son Jesus and His cross-bought merits. In His name we pray. Amen.