How to Have A Hope-filled Election Day
Today is Election Day in America. After 19 months of endless campaigning, it all comes down to today. I heard that over 150 million people will have exercised their freedom to vote either today or in early voting.
It's been a very long, contentious and often ugly election season. Most of us have never seen the likes of it. The 24 Hour News Media has reveled in it the entire time--stirring the pot, keeping the sound bites coming, creating higher and higher levels of anxiety.
As a result, millions of people have become convinced that if their candidate does not win, it will be the end of the world as we know it... and they won't feel fine.
The anxiety of Christians in the midst of this campaign has been extremely troubling to me, especially now that we are nearing the end. Christians are not the seemingly monolithic voting block in the United States they might have been in the path, and many Christians disagree on which candidate better represents their values.
I know that I have Christian friends who have let their anxiety over the election bleed into their conversations, their online interactions and so much more. They've shared all the things that they believe will happen if the "wrong" candidate is elected president.
Truth be told, I've had my own share of anxious moments, too.
When you stop and think about it, it's pretty sad that people who claim to trust in God and declare Jesus as Lord, would spend so much energy being anxious about the outcome of an election.
In the Gospel of John, there are several chapters dedicated to Jesus' teaching to his disciples about the future, what would happen after he was gone, and a host of other things that they were worrying about. He said to them:
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
In less than twenty four hours we will know who the next President of the United States will be for the next four years. But for Christians, we already know who is Lord forever more. In just a little while we'll know who will be sitting in the Oval Office come January, but for those of us who follow Jesus, we know who sits on the throne.
Come on! Can I get a witness on this? Somebody out there said "Amen," to that I just know it!
Sisters and brothers, be at peace. Tomorrow the sun will rise, and bear witness to the grace, mercy and creative love of God. No matter who wins the election, God is still in control, and we have work to do to show it.
So, when the votes are all counted and the winner is declared, be gracious and grace-filled. Be salt and light. Speak words of comfort and hope to those who are anxious. And in so doing, you will bear witness to the power, glory and beauty of the kingdom of God, which is within you.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.