On Tuesday evening, I watched eagerly as the city of Montgomery, Alabama elected its first Black mayor since the inception of the city in 1819. The Montgomery County Probate Judge, Steven Reed, won a special run-off election by over 16,000 votes. The primary reason that this election was so captivating is because of the racialized history in this state capital. It was the segregated bus system in Montgomery that directly contributed to the organization of the Civil Rights Movement with the civil disobedience of Rosa Parks and the emerging leadership of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It is impossible to imagine this significant movement, in our country, without the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Looking back on this city in the 1950s and 1960s, it would have been very difficult to conceive that a Black man would ever be elected mayor.
While the result of this mayoral election does not mean that everything is perfect in our country and communities, it does mean that there is some potential for progress. Likewise, there are times in our lives when situations seem hopeless. However, the Lord has a way of sending us glimpses of hope to remind us that our current condition will not be our conclusion. As we go through life, we cannot allow the obstacles and opposition that we experience to diminish our optimism that when we keep the Lord first, there are better days ahead. We should find comfort in the words that the Lord gives to the Prophet Jeremiah, “For surely, I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope” (Jeremiah 29:11, NRSV).
May God continue to bless us with hope-filled futures.