Last month I was faced with the task of moving my office across the street to our temporary quarters. I came across some files of Newsweek magazines I had saved at the time of Watergate and the resignation of President Richard Nixon. I was nineteen years old. Last week, I turned sixty-three.
Though 1972 was a long time ago, I do recall how unnerved my parents were and the general state of fear and anxiety that was pervasive, at least in my region of the world. The United States survived that constitutional crisis and resignation. And of course, the truth is, this country survived far worse via the Civil War, the two great wars and a Great Depression.
So when candidates run on fear and declare that if they are not elected there will be a constitutional crisis or that the stars will fall from the sky and our country will end, I’m inclined to simply ask them if they have ever, ever read our history. Please. I shy away from fear-mongers and I certainly feel insulted by threats that if I don’t vote for you then you’ll rise up in rebellion. Tsk tsk. Churchhill-esque this is not .
The presidential campaigns, for this season at least, are coming to an end. That end will be greeted as though a pestilence has lifted. We’ll need a good deal of time to heal from the barbarity and banality of all of this.
So the campaigners have been voicing their opinions. Now it is our turn. Go vote. Vote for human dignity and worth; for justice and freedom; and by all means vote for hope. Then come Wednesday, no matter who wins, you and I will roll up our sleeves and do what Christ has asked of us. That mission does not change because someone else sits in the White House as President. Oh, the consequences are enormous, don’t get me wrong. Your vote is important and much will be changed. But our mission is not one of these. I must love God with all of my heart, mind and strength and I must love my neighbor as myself. You must do that too. And when I do that and you do that then we become a We.
Kingdoms rise and fall. They always have and always will. But the Word of God and the love of Christ endure forever. Take hope in that as you go to the polls Tuesday. Take heart in that when you wake up on Wednesday. ~See you Sunday