For the glory of God
October 14, 2020
It is a constant ever-present mantra these days that 2020 has been a particularly challenging year. Mental and physical trials of broad scope and impact are present in the lives of us all. Unease as to what each coming day has to offer is wearing. More and more, persons are intentionally opting out of daily routines that begin and end with world and national news.
For some, it is a matter of mental health and personal well-being, a return to the safe harbors of pre-pandemic, pre-election, pre-unrest days, a time that called for less immediate action and greater contemplation. Our angst has driven us to conclude that the saving grace we seek will be found in the voting booth, a modern-day confessional laying bare the choices before us. When the curtains are drawn and ballots cast, will we discover absolution? If it is to be found at all, it will occur beyond the hype of slogans, banners, yard signs, and angry retorts that do not convince as much as they divide. Misappropriation of religious symbology in support of violent ideologies this election season is especially distasteful and offensive. Confusing faith with politics has never ended well.
What shall be our mandate this election as people of faith? The breadth of Christian influence does not support a one-size-fits-all approach, nor should it. Each of us are called to our own unique relationship with The Divine that transcends self and becomes an extension of our lives in the greater world. Will our faith inspire or derail? Will it model the best and set aside the worst of who we claim to be? Imperfect faith has always been the norm throughout history, we should not be afraid to acknowledge our shortcomings. Any faith that declares itself perfected by God is suspect. There is good reason the framers of our constitution recognized the value of separation of church and state.
As we impatiently wait for answers that are slow in coming, seek the sacred areas in your life that sustain and support. Are they found in the daily routines of family and kinship? Will they appear in acts of compassion and kindness offered to others? Will the Creators hand be evident in the beauty of the fall colors or the anticipation of young children for whom the world is still exciting and fresh? Perhaps seeking the wisdom of our oldest generations is yet another life-giving avenue.
The Bible is filled with imaginative stories of longing that we can draw from to bolster our faith during trying times. Take solace in the fact that there is little new from the perspective of humanity that has not been tackled before. Although technology is present in ways not envisioned by previous generations, the human core remains, providing both challenge and hope for a better future. We are up to the task as history shows, but we must also be diligent in pursuit of goodness and kindness for all. “To the glory of God and our neighbor’s good” should resonate with all who desire a more faithful, faith-filled, and unselfish world.