What Will Happen the Sunday After Election Day?

Election day is coming. We’ve turned the corner into the homestretch. Here in North Carolina, a battleground state, the ads have reached fever pitch on radio and TV. Every day brings more mailers to my mailbox. The finish line is nearimg_20150615_172711133_hdr_picmonkeyed

Will you vote that day? I hope you will. I hope you will say a quiet prayer for wisdom and guidance, and enter your appointed polling place to cast a vote if your conscience allows.

At the end of that day, when the signs are put down, the projections are made and fulfilled (or not), the electoral college goes back into remission for four years, and the transfer of power begins, what will happen at your church?

I have a few guesses as to what will happen at mine. Naturally, all these suggestions fall under the category of “If the Lord wills, we will do this or that.” Perhaps the Lord will return before Election Day 2016. But if not, you might find us that week just like any other Sunday.

 

We will pray for our leaders.

Each Sunday when my pastor steps behind the pulpit for his pastoral prayer, he prays for our leaders. Nearly every time, he prays for the President. On occasion he also lifts up the Charlotte city police, school board members, city councillors, the mayor, or our senators and representatives.

When we pray for the President, we don’t feel the need to express whether or not we agree with the President. It doesn’t matter. We plead with the Lord to make him wise. This wisdom would benefit all people in our nation — Christian and not — as well as those around the world. So we pray for him, in obedience to I Timothy 2:1-4.

I will be so bold as to predict that on the Sunday after election day, we will pray for the president-elect. Even after this racism-laced, fury-filled nightmare of an election year. Even with the despicable things we’ve learned or speculated about each candidate. This prayer will be a simple act of obedience, a plea for God’s intervention and help for our country.

 

We will call each other “brother and sister.”

Regardless of the person who is next to take the Oath of Office, we Christians will still be one in Christ. Our status as members of one another cannot change, as it is sealed for us in Christ:

Romans 12:4-5 For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function,  so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.

I expect as I walk through the doors early that Sunday, one of our staff members will call out “Hey, Sis,” as he always does — in spite of the fact that I am almost old enough to be his mother; in spite of the fact that I am a different race than he is. We are brother and sister in Jesus. The election cannot change this truth.

Indeed, as Christianity ceases to be the majority in America, these ties of spiritual family ought to become more precious and more solid as other ties may pass away. This election cycle focused some attention on the difference between cultural Christianity and…well, not-just-cultural Christianity. How will this difference continue to sharpen in the coming years, as America becomes more diverse? Our love and attachment to one another in the Body of Christ should become more sweet as it becomes more rare.

 

We will partake of the Word and the sacraments.

Whether you call them sacraments or ordinances, the remembrances we partake of on the Lord’s day help us proclaim Him until He comes. The Lord Jesus left these ordinances behind as a tangible help for us and the world.

Will you see a baptism on the Sunday after Election Day? Will you partake of the elements at the Lord’s Table? Be encouraged — these occasions were meant for your edification and joy! They are sure signs that our citizenship rests in Heaven. Let your tastebuds, your eyes, your ears remind you — America will pass from the Earth one day. God’s kingdom is forever.

Then when your pastor ascends to his place behind the pulpit, be grateful. We live in a land where we are free to hear God’s word without fear of imprisonment. This is our true “feeding time” as sheep of God’s pasture. On the Sunday after Election Day, I will look down my pew at my children. Some of them will be paying rapt attention with their Bibles open in their laps. One will be head down, brow furrowed, taking notes and doodling. A couple will be wiggling or yawning. But all of them — mostly oblivious to it — will be partaking of a feast that Christians around the world long to have. God’s Word, clearly and publicly proclaimed. Encouragement offered. Gospel preached. Glory!

 

So what will happen at your church on the Sunday after Election Day? I suspect that many of these same things will take place. If so, Christian, you have reason to rejoice. Yes, be sober in the face of our changing times. And then be more determined to lock arms with those Christians over centuries past who celebrated Lord’s Day after Lord’s Day, expectantly awaiting the Kingdom come.

 

And Yet He (She) is Such a Man (Woman)

Well, who can believe Election 2016?! Really?!

It came to me last night that the feeling I’ve been having about this year’s Presidential campaigns is akin to a moment in Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. As the conventions draw to a close, there is a kind of resignation that has settled over the nation. Here they are, our two major party candidates. And yet…

Mr. Wickham. He is the scoundrel in Pride and Prejudice (200-year-old spoiler, sorry). He’s handsome and charming. Yet his true character is revealed when he takes off in the middle of the night with the Bennet’s youngest daughter, Lydia, who has been convinced that she is in love with him.

Elizabeth and the family finally receive word that Lydia is fine, and that Wickham has agreed to financial terms to marry her. Naturally the family has to agree to pay him a hefty sum, but they are willing to do so to attempt to salvage their reputation. If they did not, the chances of the other girls being able to marry at all disappear.

There’s a moment in this scene where you see Elizabeth come to terms with the situation. She speaks to her father:

“And may I ask — ?” said Elizabeth, “but the terms, I suppose, must be complied with.”

“Complied with! I am only ashamed of his asking so little.”

“And they must marry! Yet he is such a man!”

“Yes, yes, they must marry. There is nothing else to be done….”

Of course, we learn later (another spoiler, sorry) that this is actually Mr. Darcy’s great moment of self-sacrifice for Elizabeth — and all comes out well in the end. All well, except for the Bennet sisters who now have a miscreant for a brother-in-law.

Look, I get that last night was a big deal historically speaking. I do. A woman was nominated by a major party. First time. High five, sisters. I want to be happy. I am happy, as far as that goes. America has finally caught up with Europe in this respect, for starters.

But we must elect someone this year.47_mrs_bennet_Pride_and_Prejudice

And yet she is such a woman.

And across the aisle….such a man.

*sigh*

Where are my smelling salts?

 

Linkage

I have just two things for you today.

One, if you have had it up to here with political advertising like I (and my children) have, head over to this Random Political Rhetoric Generator for a couple of laughs. You can take important stands like, “I want an America where internet pirates and violent video game makers cannot corrupt our cherished national parks.”

Two, this article by Carl Trueman is a highly influential one for me when it comes to music in the church. I return to it now and again to recalibrate and ask questions of myself and others: What Can Miserable Christians Sing? Here’s a taste:

A diet of unremittingly jolly choruses and hymns inevitably creates an unrealistic horizon of expectation which sees the normative Christian life as one long triumphalist street party — a theologically incorrect and a pastorally disastrous scenario in a world of broken individuals. Has an unconscious belief that Christianity is — or at least should be — all about health, wealth, and happiness silently corrupted the content of our worship? Few Christians in areas where the church has been strongest over recent decades — China, Africa, Eastern Europe – would regard uninterrupted emotional highs as normal Christian experience.

Trueman wrote a follow-up piece for the 9marks blog earlier this year that is also worth a read.

Muddy Waters

This past Saturday, as I was working on a valance for the schoolroom window, I turned on the livestream for Glenn Beck’s Restoring Honor Rally in Washington DC. Why? A few reasons, I guess. Number one, plain old curiosity. Number two, I am still trying to understand his appeal as nearly everyone around me adores him. But for all my trying, I don’t get it.

As I listened on Saturday, I became more confused. The message seemed muddled. Was this a political rally? Was it a religious rally? What was the point? I couldn’t figure it out. Add to that the fact that Albert Pujols received an award for honesty and integrity — I can’t shake the suspicion that he’s on PEDs — and you’ve got enough reasons for me to get good and frustrated. I finally turned it off after forty minutes.

That was why, on Sunday, when the article below hit my Google reader, I was overjoyed. Sobered, yes. But I FINALLY felt like somebody SAID IT!  I was so shaken that I linked to it on facebook, my only comments being:  “WOW.  Yes.”

Please, if you haven’t already, prayerfully read Dr. Moore’s take on the current climate of Evangelical Christianity in America.

God, the Gospel, and Glenn Beck

It’s taken us a long time to get here, in this plummet from Francis Schaeffer to Glenn Beck. In order to be this gullible, American Christians have had to endure years of vacuous talk about undefined “revival” and “turning America back to God” that was less about anything uniquely Christian than about, at best, a generically theistic civil religion and, at worst, some partisan political movement.

Lend Your Voice

Please, please consider signing the petition below that pleads for the continuation of US-Russian adoptions.  The goal is 10,000 signatures by 5pm EST tonight.  I was number 9,6.. something, so they are very close!

We Are the Truth

(Sorry, the link isn’t working for me properly, so let’s do this the old fashioned way)

http://www.gopetition.com/online/35485.html

Abortion and Health Care Reform

Hat tip to JT for this helpful Q&A.

Basically what it says is that the executive order is similar to Michael Scott declaring bankruptcy:

Roe V. Wade, 37 Years Old

37 years ago today Roe V. Wade was made law, and the United States officially affirmed life that much less.

Today a dear childhood friend will mourn the loss of her 7-week pregnancy — no, not just a pregnancy, as the pro-choice movement would call it, but a baby.

Today another childhood friend, her sister, will struggle to give medicine to her little one, piercing her baby’s skin with a syringe to deliver medicine which will, we hope, alleviate seizures. Her baby girl was born six months ago with Down’s Syndrome, unlike 90% of her counterparts, who died in utero at the hands of abortion doctors.

Life under the curse is hard. It is too tragic to bear sometimes.

It is still life, no matter how it is dealt to us.

Please watch this video about another tragic but beautiful life and pray for my friends and the unborn children of the world, who are at risk in the places where they should feel the safest — their mothers’ wombs.

99 Balloons from Igniter Media on Vimeo.

“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” — Psalm 139:14

Please consider taking action by meeting the needs of Heartbeat International and other organizations like it.