"The elder to the elect lady and her children…I ask you, not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but one we have had from the beginning, let us love one another." - 2 John 1,5
The brief epistle of 2 John begins with salutations from an elder to "the elect lady and her children." Since this is Election Day across the U.S., many may think of Hillary Clinton. But the "elect lady" in the text is not really a "lady," but a community, and her children are members of that community…so it also applies to Donald Trump or any of the candidates for election.
What's more important than the specific identity of the "elect lady" is her (or his) function. The elect and her children are admonished to love one another. Obedience to this age-old commandment is the indeed the validation and the mandate of one's election.
Given the bitter wrangling of this past election cycle, love for one another is still our most pressing need.
That love places our common concerns above all partisan rivalries.
Love for one another places those who are concerned about porous borders at the same table with those who are concerned about global warming…. and moves them to respond to each other in respectful ways.
Love for one another means that those who've been adversely affected by economic globalization and those who've been adversely affected by unregulated capitalism have to hear and heed each other's concerns.
Love for one another causes those who worry about the national debt to find common solutions with those who worry about college debt.
Love for one another is still the most pressing mandate of anyone elected.
God, let love for all your children be the validation of this and every election. Amen.
Kenneth L. Samuel is Pastor of Victory for the World Church, Stone Mountain, Georgia.