Isaiah 25:1-9

O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you, I will praise your name; for you have done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and sure. For you have made the city a heap, the fortified city a ruin; the palace of aliens is a city no more, it will never be rebuilt. Therefore strong peoples will glorify you; cities of ruthless nations will fear you.

For you have been a refuge to the poor, a refuge to the needy in their distress, a shelter from the rainstorm and a shade from the heat. When the blast of the ruthless was like a winter rainstorm, the noise of aliens like heat in a dry place, you subdued the heat with the shade of clouds; the song of the ruthless was stilled.

On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wines, of rich food filled with marrow, of well-aged wines strained clear. And he will destroy on this mountain the shroud that is cast over all peoples, the sheet that is spread over all nations; he will swallow up death forever. Then the Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces, and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken.

It will be said on that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us. This is the Lord for whom we have waited; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation. Isaiah 25:1-9

Today is election day. Voting is an honor, a privilege, a responsibility of citizenship. It is also, in the history of how human beings have actually worked to bring order to their common lives, a relatively new practice. Throughout the majority of human history, it has simply been about “might makes right”, “who’s your daddy?” and “those who have the gold make the rules.” In much of the world, this remains the case.

But we live in a new world which includes a new idea. The government functions at the consent of the governed. We get to cast a ballot. Everyone of legal age – since 1920, including every woman – since 1965, including people of color who were previously discriminated against – since 1971, including 18 year olds – gets one single solitary vote. One vote.

One vote per person might not seem like it means much. But we aren’t a land of one person. We are a land of many people. Every flood wreaks devastation one drop of water at a time. Every blizzard kills people one snowflake at a time. Every parched field is restored one rain drop at a time.

As the people of Israel suffered in Isaiah’s day, their only option regarding their common life was to wait. To wait to see what the powers that be would do. To wait and see what God would do. They went about their daily lives. They suffered under an advancing army. They were terrified to see their beloved Jerusalem surrounded. Over and over they were starved out in a brutal waiting game of what might happen next.

Where was their champion? Where was their rescuer? Who would save them?

They lifted their eyes to the hills. They lifted their eyes to the future. Someday! Someday God will make things right! Someday will come! Someday we will have a feast of fat foods, a cup of fine wine. Someday tears will dry and death will die. But for now, we wait.

Nothing can change the hopeful optimism of people of faith. Life for us will always be comedy rather than tragedy. There will be an ending and it will be happy. We cling to that. But we don’t just sit around and wait for it.

Jesus didn’t tell the lame, the blind, the hungry, or the poor to sit around and wait because someday it will all be better. He did what he could while he had time to do it. So do we who follow him in our lives. We don’t just wait, we participate. And today, that includes voting for those who will bear responsibility to do their part in leading us in our earthly lives.

Let us pray: Gracious Lord, today is a glorious and terrifying day in the lives of the people of the United States. Thank you for those who volunteer their time in providing order and security as their fellow citizens cast their ballots. We pray for safety, for justice, for access. We are grateful that today has finally arrived. See us through this day as you see us through all days. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


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