Today is Election Day. Across the front of our campus are dozens of signs promoting one candidate or another. If you blur your vision as you look at them, the cornucopia of color is rather pretty. Also, first thing this morning, those signs were accompanied by volunteers waving and trying to garner support for their candidate of choice.
However, as I sit here and type this it is now raining. Raining hard. While those signs are still there, the volunteers are not. But there is one thing that is. The voters. There has been a steady stream of people flowing in all day long to vote. There has never been an overwhelming flood of people, but a steady, solid stream.
As we vote today, and I do hope you will exercise that right to vote, you come in prepared. You more than likely have studied the candidates, know a little bit about what they stand for, have pondered who you feel aligns themselves the closest with your own personal set of values, and based on that, have made a decision about which person will do the best job for the office they are pursuing. This is not something most people do spontaneously, or with no preparation. My point is you put forth effort in exercising this right. You read, listen, ponder, study, and then react.
As I have pondered these coming and goings today, it has occurred to me that our faith is eerily similar, just in the opposite direction. Stay with me just for a bit. As a voter, you put forth the effort, reading, listening, pondering, and studying, then we as a people come from all over to react and profess, via written ballot, our beliefs and opinions. For us as disciples of Jesus Christ, we must also put forth the effort, by reading Scripture, listening to the Word as it is proclaimed, pondering what the Holy Spirit is speaking to us through quiet time and prayer, and studying what it means to be a 21st century Christian in America, and then based on that, we go forth and react and profess those values we have learned. The difference, the opposite direction I mentioned, is where as a voter you usually put forth effort in public, at town hall meetings, rallys and debates, then come into a private setting to vote, as a disciple we take what we have learned internally and privately and go forth into the public and proclaim what we have learned.
The Kingdom of God will not grow primarily from hushed tones and private gatherings. We must put for the effort. We can do that by coming to church on a regular basis. Attending a Sunday School class on a regular basis. Reading Scripture on a daily basis. Preparing yourself. Spend time in the Word, allowing the Spirit of God to wash over you and transform you. Then, we must go out. The last words Jesus spoke to his disciples as he left this earth was, “Then Jesus came to them and said, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.' ” (Matthew 28:18-20)
Therefore my friends, I pray you are growing in your faith, becoming stronger day by day, so that because of you, the Kingdom of God will be realized in this realm, and you will one day hear the words, “Well done, thy good and faithful servant.”
Have a great week and I will see you Sunday!