Tuesday, November 04, 2014

A Thought for Election Day 2014

“If it seems evil to you to serve The Lord, chose for yourselves this day whom you will serve … but as for me and my house, we will serve The Lord.”  Joshua 24:15a, 15d NKJV

The best thing many of us can say about Election Day is that the campaign season is done!  We have been inundated with all kinds of ads on television, radio, newspapers, US mail fliers, and incessant phone bombing!  The nature of most of these ads has been almost entirely about how bad the “other” candidate is.  Worse, too many of us have been more than happy to share the negativity with others.  I must admit that as much as I claim to be trying to distance myself from politics altogether, I still get drawn in too easily.

I used to love politics so much so that I believed my future would be politics.  I studied politics, I read the stories, the opinion commentaries, and just about anything I could get my hands on.  It soon became clear that my near-obsession with politics was beginning to negatively affect my theology.  Bible study, small group discussions, and even sermons began to center around my political ideology to the point that rather than being incidental to my faith, it was my faith which became incidental.  The Lord was a given; it was politics that had my primary attention.

Now politics is more like a mosquito buzzing in my ear.  It won’t go away and is very annoying and distracting to the point that it would be so easy to be drawn back in.  And I think this may have been Joshua’s concern for the people of Israel as well.  There are realities Israel would have to face because as much as they may have been willing to try, evil simply cannot be eradicated.  Not in this lifetime, anyway, and not as long as the prince of darkness roams the earth.  Yet for all the good we believe we are doing to put evil in its place, we often cross a line at which we become evil ourselves because it is a very fine line!  It is very hard to discern especially when we get caught up in our own passions, what is important to us personally, and which candidate we prefer.

So Joshua found it necessary to retell Israel’s story to remind them of all The Lord had done to make possession of this new land possible.  Moses told the story before Israel was to cross over, and Joshua told it yet again once they were over the Jordan.  So must we continually tell The Story, share The Story, and embrace The Story for ourselves.  The world and its trappings are compelling and extremely hard to resist; but if we take deliberate steps to remember The Story and who we are in The Story, we will find that our primary attention is where it should be: on our determination to serve The Lord faithfully.  As Joshua held out for Israel, so must we “choose” rather than “settle”.

Our choice seems clear, and so we must “choose this day whom we will serve”.  And then serve faithfully.



No comments: