I know lots of First Churchers voted on Tuesday. Some of you folks even voted at the church itself, as it is a long-time polling place for this neighborhood. There was a sense of excitement as people flowed through our doors.
Like many of you, I was dismayed to wake up this morning and read the news that there would be an automatic recount in the Minnesota gubernatorial race. I immediately flashed back not only to our recent prolonged battle for the Senate, but even further to the 2000 presidential election, which happened to be my first experience voting. I will never forget what a sad, disillusioning experience it was to watch the post-election chaos unfold. Recounts, scandals, voters disenfranchised, abuses of power… I was 19 years old. My already-limited confidence in the government was destroyed. I hope that the recount here in Minnesota goes smoothly and with as much integrity as possible… but I worry.
As I’ve grown older, I struggle with feelings of cynicism about our democratic process. From my ministerial point of view, I see that this struggle is, in fact, a matter of faith. I must find ways to choose connection over disconnection, community over estrangement, hope over despair. The biblical stories we read every Sunday were forged in a context of exile and oppression. Although ancient Israel is a very different place than modern-day America, I pray that we can live out our spiritual heritage–which includes perseverance, humility, and faith in the ever-present possibility of change. May it be so!