In 1998, I registered to vote on my 18th birthday. I was so excited. I was finally being empowered to actively participate in an important civic duty. I voted in 1998 which was only 23 years removed from the 1965 Voting Act which enforced the 15th amendment for black men and eliminated obstacles to voting such as literacy tests, poll taxes and the grandfather clause. The literacy test was a test administered to African Americans before they could exercise their constitutional and inherited right to vote as American citizens. The poll tax was a law where an astronomical tax had to be paid before an African American could vote. The grandfather clause was a law that allowed anyone who had a grandfather who voted to be exempt from the literacy test and poll tax. As a Nigerian-American woman, I was the first person in my family born in the United States. I would not have been able to vote if the grandfather clause was still on the books. My two late grandfathers were born in Nigeria and never voted in an American election. That means no one in my family would have been able to vote and this could have continued for many generations to come.
When I became a Christian, I became God’s daughter and a member of his Christian family. Paul said it beautifully in Galatians 3:28 when he said, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” When Jesus died for me, he died for every past, present and future sin before I took my first breath a little over 40 years ago. God is very intentional in everything that he does when it comes to each of us. Genesis 1:28 says, “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” God has deposited his greatness into each of us. Each one of us is an original masterpiece.
God has entrusted me with the ability to vote to me. God has entrusted you with the ability to vote. God has called us to be active and relational participants in our beloved community. There are generations of people who were never allowed to vote but sowed tears, prayers, blood and their lives so we would be able to vote. The 2020 election is the most important election ever. If you are not registered to vote or want to learn more about voting, please click here for Maryland residents and here for information about voting outside of Maryland. We have responsibility to inform everyone we know about voting. I have voted in every primary and general election in my 22-year voting career.
I am not voting for only myself in this important election. I am voting for my ancestors who were never allowed to exercise their inherited right to vote and were challenged and threatened when protesting peacefully. I also voting for the people who came along my ancestors and who had the right to vote but also gave up their prayers, tears, lives and blood so that I could vote. I am voting for children and other people alive today who are not able to vote and have been entrusted into our care as a society. I am voting for future generations of people who will include my children, grandchildren and countless generations whose lives will be shaped by this election. Our union is far from perfect but as God’s image bearers we have been entrusted to vote on behalf of past, current and future generations.
Thank you for your continued faithfulness when it comes to each one of your children. Each of us was created in your magnificent image. We thank you for the care that you took to create us. We thank you that because of Jesus that we are free and can boldly approach your throne. God, we come to you humbly and ask you to have your way with the election. Minster to each one of your children to be an active participant in the democracy of the United States of America. Although our nation is not perfect, we pray for your hand of healing, love and peace to fall down afresh right now in the name of Jesus. We pray for your church to be on one accord and to be led only by your biblical teachings about loving our neighbor and the great commission. We thank you in advance for the generational healing that has begun to take place. We praise you in advance of the miraculous things that you will do on our behalf. In the name of our matchless and risen savior, Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen!