The familiar WWJD slogan “What would Jesus do?” is a question worth asking especially during the season of political conventions and campaigns. How would Jesus respond to the rhetoric, platforms, and promises of our candidates and their parties?
Devotionals are not intended to be political, but our political decisions affect us and often have world-wide ramifications. How we deal with refugees and immigration is an example. Will our nation be welcoming to those struggling for safety and a better way of life, or will we limit newcomers to those whose skills benefit us and whose religion passes our litmus test? I can guess what Jesus might say noting one of the birth narratives that tells the story of Jesus being a refugee himself in Egypt, taken there by his parents to escape the fear of being killed by Herod the Great. (Matthew 2: 13-23)
Ask yourself some WWJD questions. These could include issues of race, gender, and tribalism. I haven’t seen a
“Make America White Again” poster but commentators have noted a white supremacy movement in some political arenas.
If you ask yourself the WWJD question, portions of scripture can be helpful supplying answers. “The fruits of the Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Generosity, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23) And another passage from Galatians: “As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:27-28) Jesus answers many of our questions in the Sermon on the Plain (Luke 6:17-49) which includes a number of his sayings found in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew chapters 5-7). Among these sayings, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.” (Luke 6:27-28) “Do not judge, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you.” (Luke 6:37-38). Jesus summed up the great commandment with these words: “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is
this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:29-31)
The WWJD questions may remind us that we are all children of God and that a “me first” attitude is not what Jesus taught. The kingdom he longed for was the kingdom of God to be revealed and practiced on earth. Pray for our nation that we may fulfill Jesus’ hope for us.