By Bishop Peggy A. Johnson
It seems that I can’t remember a time when we as a nation were not talking about the 2016 U.S. Presidential election. Almost the minute the 2012 election ended, the speculation about the next President began. One by one, people came forward announcing their candidacy.
Then there were the endless debates, rallies, primaries, conventions, and now more debates. The relentless stream of repetitive news, survey polls and opinions about our major nominees crowd the full media spectrum. And there’s more than enough scandal, mud-slinging and speculation, much of it fueled by leaked, once-secret e-mail messages and videos.
Campaign fatigue set in for me a long time ago. But I have not given up my concern for our nation, nor my hopes for the best and my prayers for God’s grace as we choose our next POTUS and Commander in Chief.
As followers of Jesus Christ we are called to be the salt and light of the world, not just the church. The next President of our country can cast a vision and offer an agenda for the future of this nation like few people on earth.
We are called to work for good in this world, along with our governmental leaders, and to call our nation to seek righteousness and pursue justice for all. I ask you to pray every day for this election.
I Timothy 2:1-2 says “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers and intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people, for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” Please pray for the next president every Sunday at worship and also in your personal times of prayer.
Also I remind you that United Methodist pastors and leaders should not advocate for any particular candidate, publically or privately. Everyone should vote as they feel led to vote. Our constitution’s principle of “separation of church and state” forbids us from promoting one party or candidate over another.
Finally, be sure that you do cast a vote. Voting is an incredible right that our form of government affords us. Many people on this globe have no such option. Find no excuse to stay home on November 8; and if you cannot physically be present, cast an absent-tee ballot now.