Why Election Day Matters

November 2, 2020 by

It’s Election Day, a day we have all been waiting for; some with dread, some with hope, and likely, many with some fear. Some are apathetic, but theirs is an endless wait.

Does it matter? Yes. For many reasons.

On this Election Day as we battle through the pandemic, we should acknowledge and be thankful for the freedoms and rights upon which our country has been founded. Many have fought, sacrificed, and died for these rights, including the struggle to gain equality for minority groups and women. Perhaps this year more than any other it would be wrong to take for granted the right to vote for our government leaders.

Let hope be your vote, your prayer, your business as you go about this day.We should use this opportunity to teach our children the civic responsibilities of caring about issues and policies that will affect our lives now and in the future – for their generation, and the ones following. This year has been tough, perhaps most of all on the youth. An important part of their future is being determined today.

Being engaged matters. This year in particular the political process and national mood has been especially rancorous and divided, with worry for ongoing and worsening unrest, protest, and violence no matter what the outcome is. We must care about and pay our respect to all those who have lost their lives this year due to violence, the pandemic, hopelessness, and loneliness.

It matters because the world is watching.

It matters because God is watching – not for the outcome, because he knows that already, but for whether or not we choose a heart and mindset of rising above the arguments and political rancor to be good neighbors, friends, and citizens who care for each other regardless of background, race, religion, or politics.

fishingboatsinaroughsea1644 Fishing Boats in a Rough Sea, Simon de Vlieger, 1644

So should we worry, or be optimistic? Pragmatically, a little of both. That would be the caring and sensible decision. But hope is the rudder that will steer the ship through the rough waters of fear and worry. Let hope be your vote, your prayer, your business as you go about this day. While it is important to vote, it is even more important to be present, to say hello, to wave and smile, to say “God bless you” to every voter we meet on our way to the polling station. And the same if you are not voting or have voted already. And the same in the weeks and months that follow. Every day.

Do that, and trust in God and believe in his grace. Faith and hope take courage, but these are virtues that are so desperately needed today. Like the apostle Paul instructed in his letter to the Hebrews, chapter 11: “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” And so if we do not see love and harmony, we should hope for it and believe it is possible. And act on it. “Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” (1 John 4:11)

Regardless of if or for whom you vote, let’s all elect to love and care more for each other. Then our children, our country, the world, and God will see America at its best. Hope and love, not fear and hatred, will once again grow and flourish. This is the true American dream. This is the dream of brotherhood that has inspired people all over the world throughout history, and is a glimpse of God’s coming kingdom.

God bless you, everyone.


About the author

Heinrich Arnold 1

J. Heinrich Arnold

J. Heinrich Arnold serves as a senior pastor for the Bruderhof in the United States and abroad.

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