Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Reflections on Election Day Communion

The world has called you to the voting booth to decide which candidate should run the country.*  "I am so glad you guys came over last night for Election Day Communion," I said this morning to my friend.  "I felt so at peace afterwards that it didn't matter to me who won the election."  We are calling you to the bread and wine, to decide once more who will run your life. "I agree!" she responded "I even felt some Holy spirit conviction to repent of some of my attitudes pre-election day and could pray forgiveness in the midst of it. Thank you so much for hosting it."  So let us put away our swords and our sound bites.  Let us drop our rocks and our nets.  It was a small event last night, two couples and three children.  Let us come to the table that is not just for the rich and powerful, but for the broken.  As we sat around my red and black kitchen table and I read through some of the liturgy provided by Election Day Communion , I felt tears come to my eyes as I instinctively realized the importance of this event.  Communion is not usually noteworthy for me.  Come and receive the body of Christ broken for you, the blood of Christ shed for you.  There have only been two times in the past that I have truly appreciated its significance. I can now make that three.

I am grateful to the people who came up with the idea for Election Day Communion.  We are generally too focused on our political ideas and our favorite candidates that we have made an idol out of politics.  Every side expects that they have the answers that will rescue the country from the decisions of whoever was previously in charge.  Every side thinks that its way is the best.  Every side can be immature, spiteful, and nasty.  

This country, wonderful as it is, is not the Kingdom of God.  There are Christians who vote Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Green, something else, or do not vote at all.  There are Christians who vote party lines and Christians who mix it up.  There are Christians who have black and white beliefs and Christians who have nuanced beliefs.  

But in our desire to be right, in our desire to have our way, in our desire to make others think as we do, we have forgotten.  We have forgotten how to love one another, and we have forgotten how to love our enemies.  We have forgotten.

So today, as you have been celebrating or mourning the outcome, think about your actions.  Have you gloated?  Have you acted like a whiny, petulant child?  Have you acted arrogantly?  Have you been less than kind?  If you have, why?  

Stop forgetting and start remembering.  Remember that real power in this world--the power to save, to transform, to change--ultimately rests not in political parties or presidents or protests, but in the life, the death, and the resurrection of Jesus.  Remember that the only Christian nation in this world is the Church, a holy nation that crosses all human-made boundaries and borders.  


Remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age." 
--Matthew 28:20 

*Sentences in italics come from the Election Day Communion liturgy.

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