Today is Super Tuesday, which means traffic will be crazy especially around polling places. I’m very interested in politics, so election years are always very exciting! I am curious to see where everything stands after the dust settles tonight and we move from a few states having weighed in to over a quarter of the delegates decided.
I wasn’t always interested in politics. I remember when I was in high school, I couldn’t have cared less about it all. I mean, I couldn’t vote at the time, so it mattered less to me anyhow. But since then my interest in politics has grown exponentially. This happened for several reasons, some of which are sort of silly. For instance, after I watched what would become my favorite TV show, The West Wing, I became much more passionate about politics, since I thought watching the show made me an expert.
Some reasons were more serious. I remember hearing a sermon when I was in college about the scope of Christ’s message. The preacher went into great detail about how Christ calls us to use our faith to inform all aspects of our life, and that we are called to stand up for justice and peace in all areas, private, public and political. I remember being convicted by this sermon. Before that moment, I had never really thought of voting as something we were called to do, but I am certain now that it is.
As I studied sociology in college and theology in seminary, I was made painfully aware of the harsh realities of systemic injustice in our country and our world, and I realized that I could not remain disengaged from the political sphere any longer.
I will never tell you who to vote for; that is not my place. But I will encourage you to vote for someone who you believe has integrity and will strive for peace and social justice.
We live in a very polarized country. A few recent studies I came across said that the United States is more polarized now than it has ever been at any point in its history since the Civil War. We constantly divide ourselves and the more we talk about enemies, the harsher the conversation becomes. If you’ve ever followed a political campaign, then you know how they get nastier and more negative as election day nears, and this year’s election cycle is no different.
I pray that we can learn to speak in love toward one another. I pray that we can disagree and yet do so in love. I pray that we will stop using the word hate so much. I pray that leaders will make decisions based on justice and equality, rather than political self-interest.
I pray that we can stand together for the things that unite us, rather than stand apart shouting about what divides us, and I pray that the church can be a place of hope in the midst of our polarized society.
Happy Super Tuesday! If you choose not to vote today, I hope you will in November. No matter who you vote for, or if you choose not to vote, you have a welcome place in our family of faith, and I hope that our church will always be a place where all are welcome and loved even though we aren’t all the same.
Have a wonderful week my friends!