We Americans have hurt each other, bitter and angry and convinced that their choice is the only moral/ethical/rational choice.
Of course, some of this is to be expected: any issues of disunity will cause people to lash out. Politics reveals so much about how you view the world in general, so it will bring our deep differences to the surface.
But then what really hurts is that the media, the parties, and the candidates—in an attempt to get out the vote—pour fuel on the fire, by claiming that “this is the most important election in our lifetime.”
(Interesting note: if you search through Google Trends, you will notice that usage of the phrase “most important election in our lifetime” skyrockets every four years. It peaks to almost precisely the same level.But this isn’t just an Internet age issue. In 1864, the New York Times called it the most important election in history. Gerald Ford said it in 1976. Walter Mondale, in 1984. John Kerry, in 2004. Barack Obama, in 2008. Newt Gingrich, 2012. And on and on.
It is hard to believe it when every election is “the most important election of our lifetime”—don’t we all remember the story of the boy who cried wolf?)
And so it is that you are going to the polls today to do your civic duty. And chances are: you won’t be happy. People there will fuss and fight and argue. You will hold your nose and vote for someone you don’t really like. And you will be confused at those who see the world differently and vote differently. Don’t they see reality? you will say.
Christians, let me make a plea to you today, as you go to the polls.
It has nothing to do with whom you vote for. It has everything to do with how you vote for them.
When Jesus was talking to Israel, He said that God’s people were meant to be different from the others.
And He gave three analogies: we are to be a city on a hill, a light in the darkness, and the salt of the earth.
In the dark, ancient times, when you were lost in the woods and darkness and desperately needing to find a place to stay, a city—lit up, on a hill, visible for miles around—was a sign of hope.
When you are in a dark room and scared, a light provides comfort and security.
When you salt meats, they have flavor and are preserved.
When people watch you, will they see a Hope that draws them? A Light that comforts them? A salt that preserves them and makes this world taste better?
That is our calling, and it is what I pray for all of us today.
For no, this isn’t the most important election of your lifetime. Your Election—voted on only by Jesus, paid for by His blood—that is the most important Election.And if that doesn’t give you comfort and strength and allow you to have hope in this election season, then I encourage you to re-read Philippians 3:15-4:1, and refocus our minds so that we can fulfill this much-needed role in our society.
God bless and with love,