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Election reflection


Well, how did the election go for you? Did your candidate(s) win?  Even if things didn't go well in terms of the outcome, isn't it great to live in a country where we have the right to vote?

You did vote, didn't you?

Of course you did.

I don’t know if you went to a polling place or not, but I do know that in some significant sense of the word, you voted. Perhaps you did it when you went to a polling place and touched a screen or filled out a ballot.  Or maybe you did it by staying home and not participating in the process, in which case you cast your vote for apathy and non-involvement.  But whether it was done consciously or by default, the reality is that yesterday in some sense, everyone voted for something.

But I’d like to talk not about how you voted yesterday, but how you will vote today.  I want to talk about another kind of election where everyone votes every day.

In Peter's first letter, he speaks of Christians as God's elect (1:1). God held an election. In that election, He voted for everyone! Now that's normally not the way elections work, but remember God is God, so He can do anything He wants. By calling the Christians "God's elect," Peter is reminding them and us of the great truth that our standing as Christ's is not the result of chance, but choice--primarily God's choice. He took the initiative through sending His Son, Jesus, to have relationship with us.  This doesn't mean that we have no say in the matter, but simply that without God's choice, our choice wouldn't have mattered. His choice is primary, our choice is secondary.

But in this election of God's, we do have a vote. There is something we must do. If we choose to vote for Him, we enter into the life He wants to share with us. In his second letter, Peter spoke to people who voted for God when he challenged them to make their "calling and election sure" (1:5-10). He was encouraging them to live in a way that was consistent with the way they had voted. Of course, we also have the option of voting another way. We can choose to vote against God by refusing Him or by deciding not to decide. Either way, the result is the same--we have chosen not to accept what He offers us.

The other thing I would add to this over-simplified discussion of election is that we vote more than once in a lifetime or every four years. We vote every day. Every day we make the choice whether we want to accept what God has done for us and allow Jesus to be Lord of our lives. When we do this, we’re elected. God has voted for us, we’ve voted for Him, and those are the only two votes that count! No one else can vote us out of office. There are no term limits.

When Jesus stood outside Pilate's hall, the choice before the people gathered there was a simple one. Pilate wanted to know if they wanted Jesus released or Barabbas. The people cast their vote. Barabbas was the clear, unequivocal choice. What should be done with Jesus? "Crucify Him," was the reply.

So they voted for Barabbas and against Jesus. Clearly, their vote said something about Jesus and Barabbas. But mostly, it said something about them. You could argue that their vote shaped society (and you'd be right), but most of all, it shaped them.

Today we have a clear choice to make. How you vote will change the world, because it will change you. If you are a first time voter, I encourage you to read the sixteenth chapter of Acts and see what a woman (Lydia) and a man (a jailer) did in voting for Jesus for the first time. If you have previously voted for Jesus, let me recommend you take a few moments to look over 1 Peter 1:5-11.

Well, how will you vote today?

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