ALWAYS VOTE FOR THE PERFECT CANDIDATE

pastor_bill
Published in the Carroll County Times newspaper October 28, 2016

History records that there was a perfect candidate. He lived in every way a perfect life.

No one could find any dirt on him from the past. No scandals. No shady deals. There were no skeletons in his closet or moral failures or “ethical” wanderings. He was a simple carpenter who made chairs, tables and plows. He wasn’t a politician or community leader. He had no following or political ambitions.

In his early 30s, he hit the campaign trail. His popularity soared. He was loved by the masses. Large crowds quickly formed wherever he showed up, often begging him to speak to them. His words echoed in his listeners’ hearts as he painted life not only as it is, but what it could and should be.

He was a rebel who goaded the establishment and made enemies with traditionalists by exploding their paradigms of thought and practice. At the same time, he revered and supported the deeply established teachings and values of the ancients. He had a way with words that cut into the human soul, giving people great comfort, hope and encouragement. Someone described his speeches as being “words of life.”

He was a champion of the poor. Not just in rhetoric, but in practice as he fed thousands and healed many of their diseases. He gave the poor hope and value — and often remarked of their special place in the nation he was building. He stood valiantly against the injustices endured by the poor and disenfranchised. He included those people who society excluded. He consistently broke down racial and gender barriers that separated people from others, and from fully experiencing life. He genuinely embraced all types of people and invited them to join his movement. It became obvious that he was changing the system by changing people, one by one.

His detractors were crafty and influential. Try as they may, they just couldn’t win back the crowds. These leaders were pegged as “establishment” leaders who only cared about their place in society — and keeping their “cushy” positions of authority and respect. To protect themselves and their jobs, they secretly plotted against him. They tried again and again to outwit and trick him through verbal gymnastics and unanswerable questions about the law. But to no avail. He countered every question with powerful truths that amazed the crowds and dumbfounded the inquisitors. Eventually, the ruling party dragged him to court on false charges. The “rigged” system found him guilty! They beat him and killed him.

Then the unprecedented happened. Something no one could have predicted. This candidate, dead in the tomb for three days, rose from the grave and continued his campaign — a campaign that is every bit as alive and active now as it was then, 2,000 years ago.

As we prepare for the final days before this year’s presidential election, remember the perfect candidate who still is building a nation — a kingdom without end — who still actively seeks those who will join him on his quest of changing the hearts and lives of people; of building a world without suffering and pain, without hatred and violence, without hunger and want. He’s still looking for those who will stand with him to advocate for the poor and disenfranchised, who will love the unlovely and care for those this world excludes; who will work for justice, righteousness and peace to prevail.

No matter which candidate you vote for Tuesday, Nov. 8, make sure that in your heart you have voted “Yes!” for the perfect candidate, Jesus Christ!

The Rev. William Thomas is pastor at Hereford United Methodist Church. He can be reached at pastor@herefordumc.org.

 
 


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