Lord, if we find two good candidates, will you still destroy us?

Recently during a visit with my sister and her 11 year-old grandson/my great nephew — Henry the Younger — she mentioned that Henry thought I should be running for President. When I inquired as to Henry’s reasoning, he responded, “You are smart!” Ahh, the adulation and hero worship of the young who love us. Made my heart feel good.

A year ago I would/could never imagine that our choices for President would be Donald Trump or Hiliary Clinton!! After all, there were 17 candidates for the Republican nomination — so many that there was need for Tier I and Tier II debates. Hiliary, Bernie, and Martin occupied the Democratic stage ….. surely more were to follow, like Joe Biden?

But here we are in late July — and it is down to two — Donald and Hilary.

The Scripture Readings for this weekend [Roman liturgy] tells the story of the Lord and Abraham as they walk toward Sodom. The Lord has come to decide if he needs to wipe out the place. Abraham wonders if the Lord will wipe away the innocent with the guilty — if he can find 50 innocent people, will the Lord spare the place and its inhabitants. Then Abraham bargains down to 45, and then 30 —– and then 20 — and finally 10. The Lord “relents” and says for the sake of 10 innocent people he will not destroy the source of sin.

Not a bad deal.

But, what does it mean to be innocent — and who among us in this world is innocent? Yikes, we might be in trouble here.

In responding to “little” Henry, I said that it takes more than being smart to be President. If fact, being smart is not valued highly at all. You need lots of money. You need to be known all over our 50 states. You need to be somewhat organized. But, in this land where “anyone can be President”, one does not have to be innocent. If so, the present two would be out.

In Paul’s letter to the Colossians [2:12-14] we are reminded that God has forgiven all our transgressions against us — with ITS LEGAL CLAIMS —he removed this bondage from us by nailing it to the cross. Wow — even for Donald and Hilary. Even these two no-good so and so’s — one of whom will be our President. While not innocent, we can still be “good”.

It has been said that sin is its own punishment — God does not have to punish us for our sin. Punishment is innate within sin. We eat too much and our pants are too tight — God did not do this, we did it to ourselves. We drink too much and wake up with a headache — is God punishing us? No — to much booze is punishing us — by our choice. We accept evil, we do evil, we speak evil — it will come back to us — not because of God, but because of myself/ourselves.

We get the leaders we deserve. We get the leaders who reflect us as a whole.

We have created the climate where too many good leaders —- imperfect men and women — do not want to put themselves out there for public scrutiny, for bickering, for name calling. We live in a world — and a Church — where “sins” of sex are held out as the most immoral —– but meanness, selfishness, bigotry, racism, sexism aren’t all that bad. Our “little” sins do not matter as much as the HUGE SINS OF THOSE who are pro-choice or for same-gender relationships. WRONG!!!!!! Our “little sins” weaken the fabric of our nation in the same way that our good deeds build up the fabric of our nation.

We pray ….

Your kingdom come

Forgive us and we forgive everyone in debt to us

I wish we could go to the polls and vote on August 2nd — and get this over with. I cannot imagine that the minds of many people will be changed over the next three months. We know who we are going to vote for. Let’s get it behind us and stop the name calling, the vicious portrayal of Donald and Hiliary. I fear that we are going to allow ourselves to be so messed up by ourselves. But — But — it does not have to be that way. I PROMISE, I PLEDGE that I will not try and convince anyone to vote the way I am going to vote. I respect your decision, please respect mine.

1. We can wrap ourselves in prayer and ask, beseech, knock, beg, our Heavenly Father to give us — and those around us — a better heart and mind. We can ask God to help us to curb our tongue and to do our work — to allow others to believe what they believe — while we believe what we believe. Our heart must change before we can hope that it will change others. Prayer changes us first and foremost.

2. We can refuse to be dragged into the gutter.

3. Limit how much news we watch. Turn off FOX, CNN, MSNBC, CBS — or whoever we turn to for news coverage.

4. While we get lost in our issues, let us pray for the unknown causes — citizens of South Sudan, those in refugee camps, those who cannot afford electricity for air-conditioning in this unbearable heat.

5. We pray sincerely — daily —- for calm in our nation.

So, what makes someone innocent?

How about:

Micah 6:8 – act justly, love tenderly, walk humbly with God.

How about:

Mark 12:31 – Love your neighbor as yourself.

How about:

Facebook – All cops aren’t bad. All blacks aren’t thugs. All Hispanics aren’t illegal. All Muslims aren’t terrorists. All whites aren’t racists.

I refuse to hate police officers.
I refuse to hate black people.
I refuse to hate gay people.
I refuse to hate people.
I refuse to hate.

May God find 10% of us innocent — and spare us — despite Donald and Hilary.

HJM

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