Imagine Jesus sitting down with Donald and Hillary.
First, I can imagine that Donald would be quiet. I can imagine Hillary would be humble. Jesus sitting down to talk to you makes you realize you are not as important or as qualified as you think you are.
I can imagine Jesus smiling at both of them. He might start by saying “I want you to know I love you. I know both of you are imperfect and have sinned. Some of your sins are well known. I know the secret sins of your soul. I know the lies you tell to yourself. I know the lies you believe because other people tell them to you.
“Your sins don’t frighten me. I died for your sins. I rose again so you both could be changed. Your soul is more important to me than this election. I want both of you to consider, what would it profit you to gain the whole world, to gain all the power, prestige, and validation of the presidency, and lose your soul? I tell you the truth, it will not be worth it. Not for you, and not for this country.
“Now both of you claim to be my followers. So let’s be clear what I expect: I expect my followers to love each other. I said this, remember? John wrote it down: ‘This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have love you.’ I am serious about this. So stop with the name-calling and the lies. Love each other. Want good for each other and do good for each other.”
At this point, shocked looks appear on the faces of Donald and Hillary. Love each other? Doesn’t Jesus understand how the game of politics is played?
Jesus sees their skeptical glances at each other. Undaunted, he resumes his teaching: “Now, let me get real specific. I blessed you both. Donald, you started with a fortune, and you made more. Don’t forget who gave you that opportunity. I’d like you to praise me a bit more, give me credit. I blessed you for a reason. The reason I blessed you wasn’t so you could brag about it. Hillary, I gave you a great intellect and drive. You’ve done a lot with it. But remember to give me credit. All I gave you is grace; you’ve done nothing to deserve it, you aren’t entitled to it. Both of you need to learn to love mercy, do justice, and walk humbly with me.”
Donald can’t stand it anymore. He blurts out, “Jesus, I can’t do that! I’ll lose the election!” Hillary, before she can stop herself, nods in agreement. Jesus has finally brought them to agree on something – the way of Jesus won’t win an election.
Jesus grins at both of them, and says, “Whoever said winning an election was the point of this? For my followers, the only thing that matters is that they follow me.”
Maybe this isn’t really about a conversation with Jesus, Donald and Hillary. Maybe this is Jesus’ conversation with you.