21 October 2016
But this time it's different.
There is a man who works, and toils, and presses on, but is so much the more in want. There is another who is slow and needs help, who lacks strength and abounds in poverty; but the eyes of the Lord look upon him for his good; he lifts him out of his low estate and raises up his head, so that many are amazed at him. Good things and bad, life and death, poverty and wealth, come from the Lord.
Good things and bad come from the Lord. He's speaking in human terms, not moral, nor theological terms. Certainly neither poverty nor wealth has a moral category as such, right? Not like death, right? Hm, maybe he's talking about something else?
Lately there's been a lot of liberal think pieces about how pitiable the poor, uneducated folks are, that "we" have driven them to voting for the Donald. I'm sure that if the tables were turned (and maybe they are in some part of the net to which I don't normally go) the conservative intelligentsia would be writing think pieces about why poor, immoral liberals are supporting the former First Lady and how pitiable they are. Also, nothing annoys either side so much as saying "well, I'm supporting your candidate because lesser of two evils." Imagine all the times you've seen or participated in one side beating up on a strawman version of the other side. Name-calling is the least of our worries. We have forgotten St Paul's line "we wrestle not with flesh and blood."
So today, Jesus comes along and whispers, "You are anxious and troubled about many things. One thing is needful"
It's hard to imagine what that one thing might be in our current time, right? Because all I really want is to tell you for whom God wants you to vote and to make sure you do it right, early, and often...
When this election is over, in the few moments we'll have before either the beginning of the 2020 election cycle or the armed revolution, will we be able to look up - no matter who we voted for - and say "good and bad both come from the Lord"?
Will we be able to go back to, you know, loving our neighbor as ourselves?
In another place St Paul reminds us that all things work for the good of those who love the Lord. All things? Even the election of that #$%^%$? And, in another, nothing will separate us from the Love of God in Christ. Nothing? Not even the fact that she voted for that #$%$&? And, in another, we have been made more than conquerors through the blood of Christ. Conquerors of what? Cuz if So-and-so gets elected there's no hope for our sort of Christians ever again.
The Saints, Canons, Scriptures and Our Lord tell us God's got this, it's all for your good, and get working out your salvation. The Gates of Hell will not prevail against the Church. And yet we still imagine that our real issue as Christians is who gets to sit in the Oval Office.
We are a strange lot are we not?