“October 6, 1774
I met those of our society who had votes in the ensuing election, and advised them
1. To vote, without fee or reward, for the person they judged most worthy
2. To speak no evil of the person they voted against, and
3. To take care their spirits were not sharpened against those that voted on the other side.” ― John Wesley, The Journal of John Wesley
We’re here: the day we have all been either dreading or anticipating.
I haven’t been dreading today so much as I have been dreading tomorrow.
See, tomorrow, no matter who wins, we will witness the character of the citizens and residents of the United States of America.
The polemic rhetoric, finger-pointing, name-calling and character assassinations have turned people who merely disagree with each other on particular political points into enemies.
Jesus had something to say about this: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matt 5:44).
But who says that our neighbors and friends and family members should ever be considered our “enemies” in the first place? When our minds and hearts go directly to “enemy” when we disagree, we have begun to lose our humanity.
Not that this is a new problem. . . there have been divisive elections throughout the history of the United States, but at the end of them we have come out unified. Our different opinions and viewpoints make us who we are: e pluribus unum (“out of many, one”).
When we haven’t come out “e pluribus unum”, we have faced horrific amounts of bloodshed and heartbreak (Civil War). Even when we haven’t gone to the extremes of war, great change in our country has only come through great difficulty (Civil Rights Movement).
As Christians, we need to remember that we have only one rule that should guide how we treat one other. It’s simple to say, but much more difficult to put into practice. This rule comes right from our scripture; right from the mouth of the one we claim to be our Lord and Savior. So when you find yourself facing your loved one, your neighbor, your fellow-citizen tomorrow, you need to make sure that — above everything else — you are following this rule:
[Jesus said] “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” Matthew 22:37-40, NRSV.
CEH Extravagant Generosity
I want to take a moment as your very grateful pastor for the many recent gifts of Extravagant Generosity given to me. I’ve received so many wonderful thank you notes, encouragement notes, invitations to dinner, lunches shared at the church, and extravagantly generous gifts.
I feel so loved and appreciated, and I want to let all of you know that I am daily thankful for each and every one of you and the time and talents you share with the Body of Christ at CEH.
I also count it as a job bonus when I see the yellow pledge forms come in the mail or brought forward during the offering. Although I do not look at your financial gifts, I pour over the bottom half of the form so I can see where you are willing to commit your time and talents. This is perhaps the greatest joy in being your pastor: seeing that you are committed and dedicated to our ministry and missions is the best encouragement I could ever receive!
With immense gratitude,