"I met those of our society who had votes in the ensuing election, and advised them, 1. to vote, without fee or reward, for the person they judge most worthy: 2. to speak no evil of the person they voted against: and, 3. take care their spirits were not sharpened against those that voted on the other side." - John Wesley, October 6, 1774
October 15, 2020
It’s an illustration I first heard at my last appointment, and one I’ve used here already, but it bears repeating; “Are you a thermometer or a thermostat?” A thermometer just takes the temperature of an environment or a body and reflects it. A thermostat actively adjusts the temperature of a space…and is the bane of every dad’s existence. (Stop touching the thermostat!)
As early voting has begun this week in Texas for a contentious election in a polarized society, for us who claim the name of “Christian,” the choice between being a thermometer or a thermostat is crucial. We can be a thermometer, reflecting the temperature of a feverish culture, hurling baseless allegations against whatever candidate we dislike, speaking evil of their supporters on the other side, and render our witness void as we look and sound and act like the worst actors in this electoral season.
OR, we can be a thermostat, trying to tone the temperature down, even if it’s just a bit. We can hold our tongue and not speak evil about the candidates, even if we dislike them. We can remember that those who support whichever candidate we dislike are our brothers and sisters and Christ’s command to love them still stands firm. (As someone reminded me the other day, we don’t have to like everyone, but we do have to love everyone.) We can live gently in a hostile world. And if we, as a church, are able to do that, imagine what that kind of witness would do in our feverish world.
In scripture, Christians are called be good citizens, from Christ’s command to pay the taxes of the land, to Jeremiah’s injunction to the exiles to seek the peace and prosperity of the land in which they find themselves, to Paul’s letter to the Romans to live peaceably with all. We are called to be good citizens. That means doing our duty and voting. But we are first and foremost, citizens in the kingdom of God. Our hope rests not in a political party or with a human candidate, but in Christ. And we are called to be Christ-like in everything we do.
I pray that we all choose to live as thermostats for the sake of the kingdom of God.
A couple of quick notes:
The work in the sanctuary is progressing. The sanctuary space is brighter and cleaner, and as someone remarked this week with the new walls, “it feels like a sanctuary.”
Brent Frenchak and the fellowship group are planning a campfire on the back of the property for Saturday October 24th. I hope you’ll come and join us for a time of fellowship.
And our Care Team meets weekly and prays for the needs of our congregation. We want to know what is going in your life and how best to pray and care for you. If you need prayer for anything, you can call me, or confidentially email our prayer team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join us Sunday for worship, in-person with a mask, or on our livestream, as we continue with our (re)DEFINE worship series.
See ya Sunday!