Lent 2014 – Devotion 7

In recent months I have had a series of acute structural health problems that have been extremely annoying. The last one was, according to my doctor, a “wry” neck. I simply could not turn my head and it felt like I was being stabbed in the back lower left quadrant of my skull. The pain was so bad, I told my husband, “If I was standing on the Skyway bridge, I would jump.” During the office visit with the doctor she looked over my chart: Tendonitis in the fall. A knee problem in January. The “wry” neck in February. After recounting these recent health issues, she looked at me and said, “This is how it is.” The implication was that from now on, I should just expect an acute, life-disrupting, painful structural physical problem every few months. I am 53 years old and live an active life. I cannot accept that, “This is how it is.” I am very grateful that I don’t have any severe health problems or diseases or conditions, but I still can’t accept that these minor “breakdowns” will keep occurring for the “duration.”

Our faith calls us to hope and dream and work for better things. We believe people can change. We expect society to change and become more just and peaceful. We have faith that the environmental crisis can be reversed. We work for healing and wholeness in individual lives, communities, and the life of the world. Our Christian faith is a religion of hope. We never give up on anyone. No one and no situation is beyond transformation and conversion. That is the dream at the heart of Christianity. Again and again Jesus reaches out to those whom society and religion have given up on. He does not give up on anyone, except maybe, the religious leaders.

Tomorrow is an election day in St. Petersburg and the surrounding area. It is a special election to fill the seat of Congressman Bill Young who died recently. A low voter turn out is expected. It’s a one time election with just the one contest, so not many people are expected to participate.

As Christians who believe in change and transformation, voting is one way that we have to make an impact on the wider world. It is an opportunity to act on our hopes and dreams for our life together as a society. This does not mean that we want to impose our religion on others, but it means that we want to involve ourselves in society in ways that serve the common good and voting can do just that.

Not only will I vote tomorrow, but I will also work at the polls because I want to be sure that everyone who wants to work for the common good has the chance to do so.

Prayer: We are grateful that we live in a country and a community in which we have the power to work for the common good. There are many ways that we can help make life better for others. May our involvement in the community be guided by what is best for all. Following the example of Jesus, may we be especially aware of serving the needs of those who are poor and outcast. In the spirit of Jesus we pray. Amen.

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