At nearly sixty-two, I'm amazed at how far we have come, in my lifetime, technologically. I remember when a toaster was a really high-tech device. Hot and golden bread, there it was on my plate. If I moved fast enough, I could have the butter melting, and strawberry jam running, before the toast grew cold. Today, I wonder if anyone really stops to think about the blessings we have in this sometimes too modern world?
I remember a winter, not that long ago, when we were living in the country, in West Virginia. It was a particularly cold, snowy winter. It snowed on Halloween, and we didn't see the ground again until mid-spring. We had electricity, maybe one day a week. We cooked beans and cornbread on a wood stove, and frankly, I loved it, because I saw what I could do in the toughest of circumstances.
So, I'm wondering if you have thought about or experienced adversity that turned out to be a blessing in your lives? Adversity is tough, but it can also make us stronger, and it ought to make us more compassionate. We must not be callous, especially because we are stronger. If I have gone hungry, shouldn't I want to feed the hungry? If I have been cold, shouldn't I want to provide warmth? If I have been unloved, shouldn't I want to love?
I have been very disturbed by the language of our American presidential campaign. Those without a voice, who have no means, are often ignored. And religion, how did where you sit on Sunday become a measure for a candidate? Why is that, I wonder? And if religion is the issue, doesn't the Bible teach us, in James 1:26-27, about what true religion is?
"If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue, but deceives his own heart, this one's religion is useless. Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world."
So, to my American friends, I do understand just how earth-shaking this ever-so-long election campaign is. There is just enough side-stepping to parade as truth, but there is little mercy. So, perhaps when we go to the polls, we could let go of our bias and pull the lever for the candidate who will not forget the widows and orphans. And to my friends across the world, please forgive us if we seem to walk on quick sand. We truly are searching for dry land.
Another Scripture that jumps out at me, for those of us who are Christians, are the words of Jesus in John 4:23:
"...The hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him."
WOW! That's what religion is. That's what worship is. If we can just try to understand what God is lovingly telling us, perhaps, in this, our American election, we will, not only, make an informed decision, but we will make a godly one. At least, that is my prayer for all of us.
Father in heaven, may you forgive us our useless vanities, and may you fill us with understanding, so that we will hear You in our hearts, and we will obey You, as we worship You in spirit and in truth.
Monday, January 28, 2008