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A far more important election

October 6, 2008

by Rev. Paul Marggraf, Mt. Olive Lutheran Church, Delano

We are currently in the season of “red.”

Some of our trees and bushes are turning brilliantly red before dropping their leaves. At our Mt. Olive church, there will be red altar cloths at the end of this month as we celebrate the Festival of the Reformation.

And, as you travel around town and see all sorts of red campaign signs cluttering up front lawns, you are reminded that we are in another election season.

Our observance of the Reformation, through which our Lutheran church was born, will go on rather quietly. We wish we could say the same about the elections!

Martin Luther was not quiet on the subject of politics and politicians. At the close of one of his more famous addresses, he wrote, “O, what a rare bird will a lord and ruler (‘politician’) be in heaven even though he build a hundred churches for God and raise up all the dead!”

We could easily dismiss Luther’s words as those coming from a brash man if it weren’t for the fact that the Holy Spirit has penned similar words through the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 1:26, “Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth.”

As we are about to elect various governmental officials, it would be good for us to include them in our prayers. They are God’s representatives to us and we profit or suffer by their decisions. That prayer might well include a petition that they be given not only natural wisdom with which to govern, but spiritual wisdom as well.

And as the campaign clamor winds down this month, believers in Christ know that they have already won a far more important election. The Ruler of heaven and earth has elected us to be his children for Jesus’ sake.

Unlike elections that need to be repeated every four years, our election is an eternal election. Before the world was created, God cast the deciding ballot in our favor. No impeachment proceedings are possible here, for our place in office is insured, not by our devotion to duty, but by the Lord Jesus, who discharged all the duties of his office perfectly for us.

As the campaigns go on around us, we know that we have already won the quiet election. Knowing that brightens these darkening days of fall.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.