It is the Monday before the Tuesday of midterm elections. I suspect you already knew this given all the ads, news stories, hand-wringing and anxiety in the air. Elections are important, voting is important. As a naturalized United States citizen I get giddy when I go vote. I put on that “I Voted!” sticker with pride. I don’t ever take it for granted and I make getting to the polls a priority.
Having said that, I want to remind us that the outcome of this, or any, election is not ultimate. God is still God and God is good, all the time. Therefore, we need not be frantic, anxious or afraid. We live in hope, remember?
Jacques Ellul in his book, The Presence of the Kingdom writes, “The Christian is essentially a person who lives in expectation.” He goes on to say, “The constant presence of the kingdom in the Christian life is a demand which urges one to continually go further, to look at situations in their depth, and to make still greater claims…”
What might that mean for us, here and now, in November of 2022?
What is it that we expect? How do those expectations shape our perceptions? Our hopes? Our actions? How can we look at situations and people in depth, rather than in sound bites, posts or slogans? What are the greater claims we are to make for ourselves, our neighbors, our life together?
Ellul reminds us, “The whole object of ethics is not to attain an end, but to manifest the gift which has been given us, the gift of grace and peace, of love and of the Holy Spirit: that is, the very end pursued by God and miraculously present within us.”
Grace, peace, love, the Holy Spirit, these are the gifts of God for the people of God, gifts we are to share, make evident and grow no matter how we vote, no matter who holds political offices, no matter what is happening within or around us. These are the gifts we are to spread and sow everywhere we go, with everyone we encounter. What might it be like this very day, and tomorrow, and the one after that, to expect to see Christ, to anticipate grace, to look deep within ourselves and take the time to see the complexity of others, to take hold of the claim that we love because God first loved us?
Perhaps then we could be still and know that God is God, and God is good, all the time so we need not be frantic, anxious or afraid.