As we here in the U.S. move daily deeper into the election season, may we all pause and carefully consider …
1. That all of the candidates need our sincere, earnest, and consistent prayers.
2. That the people we speak about, we do not know. We know a little – a very little – about them, but we do not know them. As we daily bank on others who do not know us to give us great grace, may we gladly extend to others what we yearn for ourselves.
3. That the people we talk about and of whom we so easily opine, have families and friends who are deeply affected by what we say and how we say it. How would you have your children, your mother, or dearest friends hear others speak of you? And so, how do you speak of the candidates? Would you dare say what you do the face of their smallest children? For whether or not you realize it, you do.
4. That it is infinitely easier for us to act as if we are very much in-the-know about what should and shouldn’t be done in governing our nation than to actually do it. It’s something akin to being a know-it-all Monday morning armchair quarterback rather than being a Sunday afternoon quarterback in the real game, no?
5. That the way we judge others is the way we will be judged.
Anger, elections, fears, politicians & politics: * Identity Theft: When Politicians Hijack Jesus’ Name by Christian Piatt; * Is Obama the ‘Wrong’ Kind of Christian? by John Blake [required reading]; Dear Christian: If the Thought of Either Romney or Obama Getting Elected Makes You Fearful, Angry, or Depressed, You Have What we Call a Theological Problem by Peter Enns [required reading]
* “It’s time to STOP … condescending to other Christians if they don’t vote the same way you do.”
* “Obama is a progressive Christian who blends the emotional fire of the African-American church, the ecumenical outlook of contemporary Protestantism, and the activism of the Social Gospel, a late 19th-century movement whose leaders faulted American churches for focusing too much on personal salvation while ignoring the conditions that led to pervasive poverty.”
* “I am saying that if you get so worked up about it that you become really angry, or you actually ‘fear for our country,’ or are thinking of moving to Greenland or freezing yourself if “that guy” gets elected, you may need to step back and think about what’s happening inside of you.”
Forgiveness: Forgiveness by Peter Enns
“Forgiveness does not mean that we make believe the injustice never happened, or make light of it. It does not mean we leave ourselves open to abuse. It means we cease harboring ill against the other. We let it go.”
God: God in a Horse by Dan Bouchelle
“I cannot force God to respond to me as I will. He is always present, but he does not snuggle up to me and give me the feelings I want as or when I wish. I seek out time with him, but at times he seems to keep his distance. He is much more powerful than me and can crush me at any instant and yet he almost acts shy toward me—as if I might hurt him with my clumsy ways or bad intentions. I have to stand very still and make no sudden moves before I can sense him slowly drawing near. At times he seems to seek my approach. At others he seem to ignore me. One thing is certain, our relationship is not mine to command. I cannot manufacture an encounter.”
“The extraordinary relevance of the rules of civility to our lives is that by following them we put into everyday practice the principle of respect for persons. Civility does the work of empathy. With training in civility we develop the invaluable habit of considering that no action of ours is without consequence for others and anticipating what those consequences will be. We learn to act in a responsible and caring way. Choosing civility means choosing to do the right things for others – for the ‘city.’ The byproduct of doing justice to others is the enrichment of our own lives.”
Choosing Civility: The Twenty-Five Rules of Considerate Conduct by P.M. Forni (St. Martin’s Press, 2002); pp.13-14
The theme connecting this week’s Scripture reading in MoSt Church’s Uncommon Truth for Common People project is purpose-driven. Following is this week’s reading schedule:
• Mon., Oct. 22 – 1 Corinthians 9.24-27; 1 Timothy 4.7-16
• Tues., Oct. 23 – Luke 11.5-13; 18.1-8
• Wed., Oct. 24 – Proverbs 10.4; 13.4; 14.23; 20.4; 2 Thessalonians 3.6-15
• Thur., Oct. 25 – Revelation 3.14-22
• Fri., Oct. 26 – Philippians 3.12-4.1
This week’s memory verse is a portion of 1 Corinthians 9:24: “ … run to win.”