The Church Will Be the Church

This past Sunday, my church celebrated the Lord’s Supper, an act of unity in Christ. At that table were Clinton supporters, Trump supporters, and third-party voters. Every one of us brought our own unworthiness to the Lord and, by the power of the Holy Spirit, were met with grace as the risen Christ ministered to us. It was a powerful time of communion and I look forward to doing it again next month.

Then, last night, our church family met together again for a prayer service. We surrounded two dear sisters who are battling cancer, lifting them up with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, offering our petitions with thanksgiving up to God.

Next week, we will welcome new members into the covenant life we have built together in our little local church.

Later this month, we will celebrate as a family brings children forward for the sacrament of baptism, that glorious reminder that God is faithful to his people from generation to generation.

I tell you all of this because if you listen to the talking heads on TV, the fate of the United States hangs in the balance today. Vote the way I don’t like and the next Hitler will rise to power (I’ve seen this about both major party candidates). It’s silly. It’s disgusting. It’s American politics.

Who knows, maybe they’re right. Maybe historians will look back on this election and declare that November 8, 2016 was when the United States crossed the rubicon and began imploding on herself. I doubt it, but maybe.

Here’s what I do know. No matter who wins in the election today, no matter what party takes hold of the reins of power, no matter which color – red or blue – is cheering at the end of the night, the church will keep doing what she’s always done.

We’ll celebrate the sacraments. We’ll welcome new members into the church family. We’ll worship Lord’s day by Lord’s day, awaiting the return of our King.

The church, in other words, will be the church.

Because the fate of the nation is not the fate of the Kingdom.

Because while the world around us boils with despair and discouragement, we are reminded again and again of the hope found in Jesus Christ.

Because for as long as the people of God have walked this earth nations have risen and fallen.

And we have persevered.

We will continue to do so. No matter what happens today, Christians will continue to worship and pray and build one another up in spiritual gifts, sharing in the sacraments and walking in the light of the Lord.

We do it because we’ve been commanded to. And it is our joy to obey.

So vote today. It’s important. And who you vote for is also important, so vote prayerfully.

Then come worship on Sunday morning, because no matter what happens over the next couple of days,

The Church will still be the Church.

Marcos Ortega

Marcos Ortega (MDiv, Westminster Theological Seminary) is an Assistant Pastor at Goodwill Church (Evangelical Presbyterian Church) and lives in the Hudson River Valley in New York with his wife and two daughters.

3 thoughts on “The Church Will Be the Church

  • November 9, 2016 at 6:31 am

    I love this THOUGHT… but I found this especially heartbreaking because what you suggest just isn’t true!
    “The church will keep doing what she’s always done” ?? The church famously has failed to live out its mission in hate-filled societies before- Nazi Germany as one example?
    You’re right, God’s Kingdom still continues and the Church CAN continue to do what it is called to do.
    But your suggestion that it always HAS is terrifying. If that’s what we pretend is true, how can we do better in the future?

    • November 9, 2016 at 6:36 am

      Hi Emily, thanks for your comment. You’re right, the church has failed time and again. Today, of all days, I don’t have a response to that. I take comfort in the regular administration of grace found in weekly worship. I’m so grateful that it’s always there. We have miles to go in terms of social witness, though. And we have even further to go when it comes to standing for the rights and dignities of minorities. I’d never deny that.
      Thanks again for reading and taking the time to comment.


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