To the People of the Texas Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church
Sisters and Brothers,
Jesus called his disciples to be “the salt of the earth” and “the light of the world.” (Matthew 5).
Pray: Today, election day in the United States, in the midst of partisan bickering and threats of violence, I invite you to join me in the prayer of St. Francis:
Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved, as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
(United Methodist Hymnal, #481)
Vote: To be even more specific about Christian behavior during voting, listen to John Wesley’s advice from his Journal for October 6, 1784:
“I met those of our society who had votes in the ensuing election and advised them (1) to vote, without fee or reward, for the person they judged most worthy; (2) to speak no evil of the person they voted against, and (3) to take care their spirits were not sharpened against those that voted on the other side.”
Reconcile: The Apostle Paul announced that we were entrusted with the message of reconciliation in 2 Corinthians 5:18-19,
“All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation...entrusting the message of reconciliation to us.”
Based on all of these spiritual guides, my shorthand advice: Pray. Vote. Reconcile.
Bishop Scott J. Jones