This is the old Epistle for Friday after Trinity XXIV, and it doesn’t have anything to do with the last things. It does have to deal with how we Christians treat each other. It gives us a window into what faith towards God and fervent love towards one another looks like. After all, faith towards God is seen in fervent love towards one another.
St. Paul puts before us situations that his Roman Christians might have run into. It sounds like some of them felt better following the Old Testament rules, and others felt better not following them. Not only that, it sounds like those not following the old rules weren’t treating well those who were. He tells them that’s wrong, for we should do all things for God’s glory.
How does this apply today? In the context of election week, it certainly means we shouldn’t be angry at Christians who didn’t vote the exact same way we did; in other words, the protests we’ve seen this week aren’t right. Nor should we be angry when Christians have different interests or good works than we do – some may be more interested in choir or church meals than with missions, for instance. Nor should we look down on those who understand or know less Christian doctrine than we do, though we should certainly correct our brethren when they’re wrong or misinformed.
Why should we treat all Christians with love and respect? Because Jesus died for them and us together. He has paid for all our sins. He has pardoned us. We have the same God, the same Baptism, the same Savior. His Spirit dwells in them even as it dwells in us. He leads them to their works of faith and charity just as He leads you.
So no matter your politics, pray God to bless our president and our president-elect and to bless our country and our congregations and all the work they do, be they missions, dinners, music, work on the buildings and grounds, and on and on.