“I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.”-1 Corinthians 1:10
When I voted in my first Presidential election in 2000, I was frightened and excited. I felt like an adult when I voted in my first election in 1998. This time, the stakes were huge because I was helping to select the next President of the United States. I had been watching conventions, elections and inaugurations since I was a child. My lifelong dream about being one of the ballots counted on election night was coming true. My friends and I were so excited. We respectfully and peacefully discussed politics despite our differing different political opinions. We did not have trending topics on Twitter, Instagram or IG live concerts or Facebook or FB ads to remind us about the election. When the votes were counted, we had to patiently wait for hand counted ballots and watch TV to see the results.
I casted my vote on election day in person because in the year 2000 there was no such thing as early voting. I remember the machine being a bulky machine that was not computerized. I remember the lines being much longer during the presidential election than during my first time voting in 1998. I casted my vote and my friends and I decided to watch The Real World on MTV while the votes were being counted. In the lower right-hand corner, the United States map was shown. When Vice President Gore won a state, the state turned blue and when Governor George W. Bush won a state, the state turned red.
As the night unfolded, the State of Florida was blue then it was turned red. Then it was clear which means no one had won the state. My friends and I switched to the news. We could not Google our questions and confusion. Florida was not clear due to some ballots which became known as hanging chads. The election workers could not determine who voters had selected as president. There was a battle that ensued and dealt with a recount in Florida. The case (Bush vs. Gore) went to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court ruled the recount had to end. Former Vice President Gore conceded to Governor Bush who became the President-Elect and eventually the 43rd President of the United States about month after the election.
Right now, we are in polarizing and draining political cycle. The 2020 Election is underway as many people have already casted their votes because early voting has started or mail in ballots have been requested. As a child of God, you may be exhausted from what has been 2020. I am exhausted too. You also may be experiencing fear and discouragement while feeling some isolation. I would encourage you to call out to your beloved community. In 2000, I remember having the community of classmates, friends and family to help me navigate a strange 2000 election. I want to encourage you to reach out to your beloved community.
Jesus had moments of solitude but most of the time he was with the disciples. I believe he did this on purpose to show us that we cannot live life alone. Galatians 6:2 says, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” How can someone carry your burden if they don’t know about? Sometimes, we will be the one who carries burdens and other times someone will carry our burdens. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” I know in a socially distant reality it may appear to be difficult to cultivate community. There are so many ways to virtually and in person cultivate community without endangering your health.
I would encourage you to be a light right now in our beloved community. Romans 1:4-5 says, “For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” There are many people who are hopeless and discouraged right now. I want to encourage you to shine your light. You can pray for the election. You can participate in the election by voting. 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. You can be a resource to someone who needs information about voting or needs to be empowered to vote. May God speak to your heart in a special way.
Thank you for calling us your children. Thank you for a brand-new week full of your mercy and grace. I pray that you would illuminate our eyes, hearts, souls and mind to hear from you about being present in our beloved community. If we are feeling isolated or alone, I would ask that you would bring people close to us. I would pray for our current or future beloved community to receive us with unconditional grace and love, I pray that any fears that we have about our new reality that we would cast them on you. I pray also you would show each and every one of us our value in our beloved community. We are priceless in your eyes. Help us to take hold of our inheritance as your priceless and undefeated children. In the name of our matchless and undefeated risen savior, Jesus Christ, Amen!