Posted by: Terry | November 24, 2016

Thankful for Hope

thNorman Rockwell and The Saturday Evening Post never were and still are not reality. The first National Proclamation of a day of Thanksgiving was made just weeks before Lincoln delivered his Gettysburg Address, it was a plea for unity in the face of bloody conflict. We survived that conflict as a nation and a people, and I am confident we will survive the present polarization in our land. I have hope and am thankful today.

Consider:

  • Neither candidate received votes from the majority of the population. According to CNN the voter turnout was only 57.8%. That means that the presumptive president-elect (presumptive, because as I write the Electoral College has not yet voted) received votes from around 25% of the voting public, the loser just a bit more.
  • The presumptive president-elect is in the process of backpedaling or diluting many of his most offensive election promises. Racism, walls, deportations, registries, torture, xenophobia, etc. may have excited a portion of the 25% of the people that voted for him, but I am confident they do not represent the feelings and conviction of the majority of the people in this country.
  • Most of the extreme promises made will never happen as they are too entangled in laws, states rights, and other checks and balances built into the system. Our founding leaders established structures to prevent demagoguery.
  • Our history as a nation supports the reality that we rise, albeit too slowly and after the fact, to face issues and attempt building a better place. Our history is no idyllic utopia for sure, but over the 240 years we have made slow progress, but progress. We finally and painfully abolished slavery, sadly we still have a long way to go on equality of the races. Women vote, own property, and slowly approach the equality they were created for, we still have too many glass ceilings and centuries of male domination to overcome, yet we have moved a bit as a nation. I am confident the present times will rouse the good people of the land to take another step in the right direction

There are people truly afraid in our country today, I empathize with them. The danger in this year’s election process is that the extreme rhetoric of the campaign excited and emboldened some of the fringe elements in our society. Our challenge as a people will be to keep extremists on both sides from doing long term damage. Our history reveals that the true majority in this country are moderate, and that the voice of moderation will drown out the messages of hate.

Ultimately my hope comes from my complete conviction that the creator of all things, the sustainer of all things – God, Jehovah – is ultimately in control. Like David so many years ago found comfort in the face of great national and personal conflict, I too find comfort in the knowledge that though the nations rage God is working all things out for a bigger plan. David’s longing, the prophets’ predictions, the early church, and my prayer is that “God’s will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

What am I most thankful for this Thanksgiving Day? That the chaos and fear, the pain and uncertainty around me are not how it will always be. I am thankful most for the hope offered by the one who designed it all, and the one who will one day reconcile it all, judging the right and the wrong, ushering in a new age on this restored earth. “Even so, come Lord Jesus.”

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