Monday, November 2, 2020

Election Day is Tomorrow - Let us Choose as Christians

The last two weeks Archbishop Peter has asked us to conduct a special moleben at the end of the Sunday Divine Liturgy asking the Lord’s help for our country as we approach election day. Sadly there is much dissension in our country now. It seems to me (and perhaps I am just being romantic, but I don't think so) that Election Day used to be a day when we would celebrate our democracy – our ability to choose our own leaders freely. It seems that this is no longer the case – at least not this year. We still have the ability to choose freely, but the overall tenor of the society is rather negative - not celebratory. 

So our response is to pray – and that is the right response for us as Orthodox Christians. To pray for our nation. And to pray for our vote, for if and when we vote we must vote first as Christians. We have the right to vote – to exercise the free will that the Lord has given us. And just like all instances in which we have the ability to exercise free will we strive to do this as Christians – understanding that we will answer for our choices. That sounds sort of ominous. It is not meant to be scary, but it is also the spiritual reality: the way we live our lives in this life determines our place in the next. So let us all pray and ask the Lord to help us to choose well, to choose in alignment with our faith to the greatest extent possible, and then let us choose. And then – let us again immediately take up the responsibility of praying for our country and our leaders. No matter who those leaders end up being based on our societal choice. St. Paul commands us to pray for our leaders, and he issued that call when the civil authorities were seeking to exterminate Christianity:

"I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth." (I Timothy 2:1-4)

Obviously we are not in such a situation as the early Christians were, so we all the more have the responsibility to pray. May the Lord bless us all and guide our leaders so that we can firmly establish peace in our society, for that peace makes it much easier for us to work out our salvation - and to help others find their salvation in Christ - than in any other non-peaceful context. This is the point of our prayers. That our leaders would make good choices that lead to peace. May the Lord grant us the zeal for this prayer, and may He grant our leaders to hear His call and facilitate peace in our land and our world!

Fr. Gregory

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