Today, I grabbed a quick sandwich at Floyd Express for lunch. A table behind me was filled with several young men whom I couldn't see but definitely could hear. They were talking about the outcomes of yesterday's Super Tuesday elections and, while I don't think they were intentionally speaking loudly enough for the whole eating section to hear them, they were coming in loud and clear, along with their interesting and colorful language. I happened to agree with most of what they were saying, but it struck me that the tone of the conversation, the clichés being tossed about and the volume of their voices might well be influenced by what they (and the rest of us) see and hear every day, now that we're two months into this election year. Along with ratcheted-up interest in the race to November, we hear ratcheted-up conversations and opinions and voices. It all makes me determined that the voices that try to pull us apart, to polarize us on the political continuum will be overcome by the voice of the One who seeks to bring us together. Our congregations are made up of staunch conservatives and liberals and many people in between. When we come together to worship each Sunday, we don't leave Monday through Saturday outside, but most of us look for what we have in common rather than what separates us. What we share is our Lord Jesus Christ, who honestly doesn't care a bit whether you're a Republican or a Democrat or some exotic breed of political animal in between. Jesus just cares that you know you loved beyond your wildest dreams. And Jesus wants you to know that the person sitting next to you is loved just as much as you are. So, as we head into the hysteria of another election cycle, let us receive the grace to love one another as fellow children of Christ, baptized into a life of serving God and one another. Let us be gentle and respectful of one another and whatever views we choose to share. And I promise that unless someone makes me stand in a line like they did at the polling station yesterday, I promise not to tell you who to vote for or who I'm voting for, either.
This evening's Lenten meal and program are at Zion at 6:00 pm. Thank you to St. Mark for providing the food!
Our Lenten programs are provided by ELCA World Hunger, as part of an ELCA-wide goal of raising $2 million for hunger relief projects. We have decided as a parish to ask each member to contribute $1 per day of Lent or $40 per person. If that amount is not possible for you, give what you can. If you want to give more, great! Hold onto your money for a few more weeks and then we'll collect it to send to ELCA World Hunger.
I think there’s just one kind of folks. Folks. - Harper Lee