Friday, October 17, 2008

How Much More?

Can we take that is. Living in Virginia, one of the "toss up states" they keep talking about on the news, we're being swamped by political ads. Not only for all of the local elections, but with the ads for the Presidential candidates as well. It's not been pretty, and someone from another country not familiar with what the US political scene has degenerated to over the years would be hard pressed to figure out what it is we're in favor of. Oh, they'd surely know what we're against... and how each candidate feels about the other. It's a wonder we're still here as a country with all the mud slinging that's been going on over the years. And it doesn't help when we have religious figures added into the mix.

Nowhere in the Bible do I see Jesus telling us to be preaching politics. But He does tell us two very important things, of which we should all be mindful: Love God, Love People. That was His response when asked about the greatest commandment of all. Never mind the flowery, poetic language which has been written in the various translations, that's the basics of what He told us to do. Where in the rhetoric over the last few months has any candidate said the same thing? At the very least the second part of what Jesus said. And have they, by how we've seen them act, lived out the first part?

As the country moves forward to November 4 and the election let me encourage all of us to pray for our country. Pray that the people chosen to lead us will be willing to listen for God's voice as they make decisions. Don't pray for any one candidate or party, for God is neither a Democrat or a Republican. But He is good, all the time.


Monday, October 6, 2008

The Sky is Falling...

Has it hit your local church yet? This whole fiscal, financial mess that's threatening to bring down the house of cards Wall Street built? Have your tithes and offerings tailed off to where you're not only worried about apportionments, but about making your monthly budget requirements?

What is it that God says? "Fear not, for I am with you." Yet we, as Christ followers, act like Chicken Little. Remember her? "The sky is falling! The sky is falling!" But the sky wasn't falling, only her perception of events at that time made her think it was.

Have we been worse off? Better believe it. The Great Depression, which was heralded by the stock market crash of 1929, saw 25% unemployment in the U.S. and world wide hardship for those countries still recovering from the First World War. But the people turned to God in those days, knowing that like everything in life it was merely transitory. that it wouldn't last forever. The Rev. Robert Schuler had a saying a few years back that should ring even truer today, "Tough times don't last, but tough people do." The United States produced people during the 30's that is referred to today as the greatest generation. The men and women who enabled this country to go into the Second World War with an attitude that was unmatched by the enemies of freedom. They had ridden through the worst part of the storm, and not only had they survived but the country had as well.

In this election year we, too, are faced with some tough times. But the one thing that has always held true for the American people throughout our history is that we have known we could ride it out. That the fundamentals of the Republic were solid. That the free economy we established would rebound. And that if we turn our face toward God we can handle any storm that might arise. This is why it's so important for the church to reach out to those who don't know the true freedom in Christ Jesus. Why the next generation must be told about what it means to be a follower of the one God. How we, together, can make life better for one another. And be secure in the knowledge that God has not forgotten us.

"If My people will confess their sin and return to Me, I will heal their land."