A Word from Rev. Kent on Election Day:
At the center of the Christian path is the walk that leads us toward others. We follow Jesus toward the stranger, toward the one wounded on the side of the road, even toward our enemies in need. Today millions of Americans are headed to the polls. That, too, is in itself a walk of faith. Whether you or your neighbors are Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, or one of the “None” crowd, voting is an act of governance, and governance is meant to be for “the common welfare.” So while government should not ever be about imposing a certain faith on others, or giving preference to one religious tradition over another, government IS a way in which we have the opportunity to express personally and publicly in communal support what our faith has written in secret letters on the heart. It is one way among many, but it is an important way that care and concern for others can be exercised.
Today as you walk toward the polls, holding in your mind and heart the hopes and fears that elections always bring, may you also hold there the resounding and relentless reassurance of a God greater than one moment in history: a God who calls from age to age to act justly, to preference mercy, and to walk humbly. May we vote not for our own interests alone, but for the wider good, and just treatment of all our neighbors. May we who call Jesus “brother” also call for our elected officials to seek out the least and serve them first. May we as a nation spend less time wearing slogans on our shirts, and more time making sure all our citizens have work and worth enough to provide clothing for their families. Both republicans and democrats love their neighbors. Muslims and Jews care for good schools and honest, good-paying jobs. Coal barons and unemployed mine workers alike, neither can drink poisoned water and live, and both die of the cancers our pollution can cause. Our votes do matter and failing to vote is a vote in itself, but not a helpful one. Votes have the potential to improve the lives
So let us because of our faith in a Great God, and our belief in the American hope of one justice for one people, act justly and act boldly to seek the common blessing of a peaceful nation. We are not there, and too many suffer still. Therefore every vote matters as every life in our border matters. May God heal our hearts of our selfish greed and pride, and may we walk together as a nation worthy of the blessing of the one who came to make a path in the desert of our bewilderment. The way forward on this path is almost certainly toward each other, not apart.
Lord, grant that we might take our place using our rights to secure the rights of others. May we through faith in you, walk humbly seeking to serve others with our privileges and powers, and using our freedom and security to secure the blessings of liberty for all people. Help us love our neighbors as ourselves, and wisely discern leaders who will do the same, acting justly for the good of us all. With your eyes, may we see beyond skin and class to the heart of service. May we make a God of no human, but work together in our foibles and frailty to build a better world, one that protects all made in your image, and all your creation upon which we depend. May the fears we harbor not come to fruition. May the love and good we intend by our actions be held accountable to your loving standard. This we ask in the name of the one who offered his life in great love for others. May generosity of spirit, care for community and justice, be the hallmarks of all who would follow him, now and in the days to come. Amen.