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This post-election sermon is the one you wanted to hear this week

A sermon on how to live together after such a contentious election.

Pastor Jason Woolever of Crossroad United Methodist Church, Washington, Illinois giving a sermon the Sunday after the 2016 election. Screen capture of Vimeo.

It’s been said that a pastor should preach with a Bible in one hand and a newspaper in the other. This becomes difficult when the news is so political and contentious. But I came across a pastor who managed to get it right this week.

Even in a normal election year, the vast majority of pastors and religious leaders try to stay away from politics. There are certainly some who were unflinching in their support or opposition to the new president-elect Donald Trump, but most pastors know that their congregations will have both Republicans and Democrats in attendance. Preaching directly about politics is a quick way to offend someone.

Pastor Jason Woolever serves at Crossroads United Methodist Church in Washington, Illinois (near Peoria). He scraped his sermon after seeing the reactions to the election. With Facebook on his phone and the Bible in his hand, he wrote a new sermon that took on post-election events head-on.

Woolever prefaces his sermon by stating that it is directed at Christians. That’s true; there will be some language that those who are not Christian will find wrong or offensive. Still, there is a lot of wisdom that others, religious or not, will find useful.

The sermon is long (I start the video about six minutes in). There will be some you agree with; some you don’t. Regardless, it’s a sermon that reminds us that the election is not the end; it’s one point in history. Whatever your politics, you will need to keep fighting for what is right. This fight should recognize that morality and justice is not confined to one party and that even if you’re correct, your actions can still be harmful.

In that vein, let me say this: if this sermon helps, then use it. If it doesn’t, then I hope you find insight elsewhere. We could all use more wisdom to help us understand how to live better in this difficult time of transition.

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