Well, things are beginning to heat up a little out there! Yes, the heat is beginning to return and its getting hot and steamy. Not my favorite time of the year here in Dallas. I am talking, however, about a different kind of heat up. The political season is heating up to extraordinary highs. This being an election year, its expected for the season to get a little hot. Adding to what would already be a normal election year of political bashing by opponents in both parties; add in the trials, the accusations, the rancor, the divisiveness, the name calling and mud-slinging. Its ratcheting up to an almost unbearable temperature.

I find myself to be no saint in this season either. I yell and scream at the TV when different personalities are spewing their versions of what they see as reality and truth. This is a problem, my friends. Its not healthy to get so caught up in the fray. Its not healthy to allow ourselves to be pushed, and pulled, and manipulated by our emotions and affiliations. Its not only not healthy, its not who we are called to be at our core.

This past Sunday, we celebrated another kind of heat, the fire of Pentecost. Jesus comforted his followers concerning his impending departure. In John 14:25-27 we read…””I have said these things to you while I am still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.”

When Pentecost came, they all felt the rush of the mighty wind. They all experienced the presence of the Holy Spirit. The outpouring of the Spirit was not only meant to propel Jesus’ followers into action spreading the Good News, the Spirit was also meant to comfort and to help these Christ-followers to know that God is with them. No matter what lay ahead, no matter what obstacle there were, no matter what pitfalls, tragedies, failures, slip-ups, the Holy Spirit was there to remind them of all Jesus had said and done.

Sometimes I think we also need reminding of who we are, and who we follow. This heated season we’re in can make for some real trepidation and fear. We fear what will happen if our political party loses. We fear what will happen if what we perceive as the wrong policies get enacted. We fear what our lives will be like. We fear how the economy will react. We fear for our security as a nation. Fear, Fear, Fear. Its woven into how we act in this time. And yet, Jesus said, “Peace I leave you; my peace I give to you.” Peace is what we need to draw on right now. God’s peace. When we seek God’s peace, it will tamp down the heat we may be feeling and experiencing.

There are lots and lots of promises made by our politicians. They are the stock and trade of those who seek political office. I’ve heard it said, “Believe half of what you see, and none of what you hear,” when it comes to political rhetoric. But the world has never promised us peace, because its not the world’s to give. Jesus said, “I do not give to you as the world gives.” In other words, the world is full of a lot of stuff, but that’s not the stuff Jesus deals in. Jesus deals in real truth, real comfort, real peace.

When we let the heat of the season get to us, we are operating outside of the influence of the Holy Spirit. We are allowing the world to steal our peace and our joy. We can’t do that. We are baptized with the Holy Spirit, and because we are we can rise above the pettiness, the invective, the partisan infighting. We are beings of light and peace. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter who wins or loses. In this particular case, it does matter how we play the game. The game I’m referencing is the game of living for and like Jesus.

I’m going to be praying for me and you as the heat rises. I know it will be a difficult time. I know we do get pulled to and fro. But I also know Jesus said “Do not let your hearts be troubled, and neither let them be afraid.” Let’s you and me commit to putting fear aside, it has no place with us. We will stand in peace and love, no matter how hot it gets.

Your companion on the Way,

Pastor Tom

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