Vote In and For the Here and Now
So for folks who read my stuff, or have heard me speak, you know that I am ridiculously annoyed with the echoing space in the creed between Mary’s birthing of Jesus and Pontius Pilate’s offing of him.
In there, in this very spot, you see, could be everything that Jesus’ words and deeds revealed about God’s reign.
In there, in this sliver of a space between the comma after “Mary” and “suffered,” could be a litany of Jesus’ acts of service in the name of God: acts of feeding and healing and welcoming and clothing and forgiving and weeping and railing against all the wealth and all the powers that work against the Least of These.
In there, in this little cranny of the creed, could be a testimony of Jesus’ deep commitment to the well-being of the world in the here and now.
In there, in-between Mary’s arms and Pontius Pilate’s, could be a reminder of our commitment to the well-being of the world in the here and now too.
That is, we could see what the Reign of God is and be reminded of our identity as ambassadors of it.
At my last presentation, one given for the clergy of the St. Paul Synod of the ELCA, a pastor came up to me to tell me of a revised version of the creed, one that in its own way acknowledges the gap. Right there, right in the spot in question, the author wrote that Jesus “lived the life of a humble Servant without limit.”
I so like that.
Jesus lived the life of a humble Servant without limit.
Everything he did, every little thing, was aligned with his understanding of the Reign of God.
On Tuesday, November 4, you cast your vote.
No candidate, not even a single one of my personal favorites, is the One Who Is To Come.
No candidate, not even a single one of my personal favorites, is perfect, is without blemish, is able to single-handedly (or even with the aid of other elected leaders) usher in the Reign of God.
Every candidate has his or her limits. Even my favorites.
Assuredly our government has limits to its ability to make the Reign of God come in its fullness.
But all of that said, given these limits, the voting booth does not mark a limit to your servanthood.
Your vote, in fact, is one of the most important ways in which you can cast your lot with those candidates who have a better shot at, a deeper commitment to, a fuller grasp of this vision of the Reign of God that marked what Jesus was up to: feeding, healing, welcoming, clothing, and subverting the powers that work against the Least of These.
Your vote, that is, is an act of Faith.
You, by your vote, have the power to help remove some of the limits placed on the Least of These.
Please don’t limit your servanthood.
Please don’t limit those who could benefit from your servanthood.
Amen to that!
And props to our man the Rev. Dr. Harry Wendt who’s the author of that Apostles’ Creed for the New Millennium. You can find it, and a lot more wonderful stuff, at his Crossways International website: http://www.crossways.org/