This weekâ€™s thoughts – as those who know their pastor well might have guessed – come in the wake of the November 2 general election. Since the election is over, I no longer have to be pastorally neutral and can share my political thoughts – those who donâ€™t agree with me can write their own columns!
For me, as for many citizens of like mind, the election was an unprecedented disaster. Thoughtful and progressive candidates and incumbents were defeated or swept out of office by a national wave of abject fear, bigotry and ignorance, and those who drove our nation into an economic and social ditch have again been given the â€œkeysâ€ to the national â€œcar.â€ Those who stage political â€œtea partiesâ€ – which to many of my generation are chillingly reminiscent of Ku Klux Klan rallies – generated sufficient excitement and rancor to carry the day. Those who feel the need to â€œtake their country backâ€ – as in â€œback from the black Presidentâ€ – set the stage for their effort to do so. A colleague of mine who called to commiserate on the day after the election was right – it was enough to make you cuss or cry or do both at the same time.
While cussing or crying might be in order, giving up is not an option. The general election may have been enough to make some think that their votes were wasted, but for good citizens – and especially for people of faith – thereâ€™s no such thing as a wasted vote or a reason to give up and quit trying to change things for the better.
The Scriptures are replete with examples of those who faced crushing reversals and questioned whether their efforts mattered. The prophet Jeremiah was so stunned by the opposition to his message from God and the resultant troubles that he faced for carrying that message that he wished that heâ€™d never been born. The Apostle Paul was angry and frustrated by the rejection of the Gospel of Jesus by the religious powers of his day. Jesus had to stop by Gethsemane on His way to the cross and prayerfully ask God the Father, â€œAre you sure I have to do this?â€ Even God was so infuriated with the lack of faith by those who had been set free from slavery but were ready to turn from Him in the wilderness that He was ready to wipe them all out, make Moses the new patriarch and start over with Mosesâ€™ descendants.
Scripture records all of those instances of fury, despair and rejection, but Scripture also shows that God the Father, God the Son and those who served the Lord never gave up. Those servants of God understood that whether we face reversals or not, whether we win are not, weâ€™re still compelled to try our best, keep on trying and do Godâ€™s will. That should be our primary strategy in the wake of the horror of this past Tuesdayâ€™s general election – to do Godâ€™s will.
The next general election is two years away, but meetings will be held at every level of government in the interim, and the people of God ought to show up, speak up and, if necessary, show out.The next general election is two years away, but we can still intercede in and improve the lives of those in need and spiritually equip them to stand up for themselves. The next general election is two years away, but we can still do letters to the editor, make phone calls to elected officials to share our opinions, demand accountable action from elected officials of all colors and mind sets, and show up when thereâ€™s a need for the people of God to put â€œfeet in the streetâ€ for good reasons.
Scholarship and my personal experience have taught me that churches and those in them grow and make changes beyond the church when we stay on the case in spite of challenges and adversity. Most battles are won not by singular smashing victories but by persistence that brings positive change. Many of those who think like yours truly may not have found victory on November 2, but weâ€™re still here and can still work. We have to, for as the English philosopher Edmund Burke rightfully said, â€œThe only thing that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good (people) to do nothing.â€
When we stay on the case, do Godâ€™s will and work to let justice and righteousness flow freely as the Prophet Amos said that we should, then in spite of adversity our persistence will bring positive change, governments and people will change for the better, and our work will never be in vain. Hang in there and keep the faith.
Admin’s Note: Click here to review Election Results from the state election commission.