Thank God it’s over! This is what most of us are saying the morning after the elections. For the past several months, political signs have popped up along our streets with the maddening numbers and determination of dandelions. We have been subjected to political attack ads for weeks on end. So much so that I’m beginning to miss the Citalis commercials—you know the one where the couple climbs into two bath tubs and hold hands. No one likes what the political process has become in the United States, but no one knows how to change it.
As much as I don’t like the signs and the television ads for half the year, I do remind myself what a privilege it is to live in a country where we have a democratic election process and the ability to complain about it. There are so many people in our world who do not enjoy these privileges that we take for granted. So, while you are thanking God that the election is over, you might also want to thank him for the opportunity you had yesterday to vote.
Mixed in with my thankfulness is sadness. Many of the people who I wanted to win instead lost. I don’t think many people were really happy with all of the results of yesterday’s election. I’m saddened that one of the members of our congregation wasn’t elected to the school board. I’m even more saddened that religion played a factor in her defeat and that people are willing to elect less qualified candidates simply because they are of the “right” religion. I am most deeply grieved, though, that a school funding issues—called an override—was not approved. Our children have been betrayed by those who are able to protect them and nurture them–adults.
The common response to these developments will be to pout and complain. Maybe in a year or so we may even hear a few, “I told you so’s.” I’d like to suggest a different response. Paul writes in his first letter to Timothy, “I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity.” Let’s pray for our new leaders and for those who continue in office. Let us join together in asking the Lord to help them govern wisely and to make decisions that bring justice, peace and prosperity to all—not just a few.
It is also important for us to remind ourselves that the government (at any level) can’t bring in the kingdom of God, for which we all long. We are the one’s whom God has called to, “Love our neighbor as ourselves.” The most effective and efficient way to love others is to help and serve them ourselves, stand with them for justice and strive with them for peace and prosperity. Individual Christians and congregations throughout our land need to continue to do what they do well—help others and share with them the love and grace of God and the good news of Jesus. These post-election days might be a good time for us to rededicate ourselves to God’s call upon our lives—to “Live Generously.”
Wow there’s a lot of work that needs to be done (besides picking up those political road signs)! Let’s stop the pouting (or gloating) and complaining, and let our lights shine “So that others may see our good works and give glory to our Father who is in heaven.”