In the days leading to the most recent election, there where so many things said on the campaign trail that did not help the unity of this country. Candidates across the nation working to win the people’s vote have said things that have further put a wedge between us.

All the tight races caused emotions on both sides to run so high that the danger of the nation becoming more divided is imminent. Here in our community on Election Day, voters decided against a referendum involving a proposed community center/YMCA. But regardless of how things turned out, the point is that the issue caused a great deal of division.

I am always fascinated by the amount of money that is spent during these elections and how negative the ads can be. It is also interesting how social media is used to promote negativity. Friends are sharing articles and commentary from all kinds of hateful sources. It’s very hard to get away from the constant bombardment of political noise. The sad part of this is to see Christians also being caught up in the wave of negative campaign ads.

I firmly believe in democracy and freedom, but during election season, I’m also reminded that it’s the source of terrible division among people who are supposed to be brothers and sisters in Christ. When you find yourself in the challenges of the political season, it can be hard to remember that Christ calls us to love each other—regardless of the political views of those who vote differently than we do.

As the church, we must try to find ways to be witnesses of this love and grace. The church’s role is to pray for America, to stand on Godly principles, to be the light and most importantly to love God and love one another. This can be really tough when we’re also passionate about politics, but it is possible.

God created each of us uniquely. One of the roles of the church is to take the lead in bringing unity and diversity in our communities. This is why Jesus’ prayer and desire for us as His Church is to live in unity and oneness. We all need each other.

Jesus believes the only way people will believe God sent Him to be the Savior of the world is through the testimony of the Church living in unity and oneness. As recorded in John 17:21, Jesus stated, “May they all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us, so that the world may believe you sent me.”

We also should be compelled to do whatever it takes to live in unity and oneness. Therefore, this call to action is declared in Ephesians 4:3, “Making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”

Be an ambassador for love, peace, unity and reconciliation. Remember that people will need to hear a healing word of hope—a reminder that no matter who is elected to office, God is still God and the hope of Jesus Christ is eternal.

Most importantly, remember that in the aftermath of Election Day, we are still the church. Whether you have political allies or enemies on the other side of the pew on Sunday, it should not matter in the light of the fact that we remain brothers and sisters in Christ. John 13:34 says “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” God bless.

Get the latest news in our Headlines newsletter in your inbox each day with the top stories.

Erick Kalenga is pastor at His Village Church in Culpeper.