Monday Musings, November 21, 2016

Dear Friends,

I have attached some rules you might want to enforce when you sit down for dinner on Thanksgiving Day.  And this year, it might be good to add one more to these:  No political conversations.

Things are pretty heated these days.  Did we really think it would calm down after the election?  Civility is in short supply, and badly, badly needed!

A friend shared with me something John Wesley wrote on this subject:

October 6, 1774

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 who voted on the other side.

Elections were hardly free and fair in Wesley’s England.  It was a monarchy after all.  That’s why we fought our War of Independence (which officially started six months after he wrote this).  Roughly one in ten men (yes, men only) were eligible to vote.  Many parliamentary seats were controlled by wealthy barons.  It truly was a “rigged system”.

A good thing to include in our Thanksgiving table grace is thanks for our country.  We are far from perfect, but we are still the envy of the world.  There are so many all around the world who would love to live here.  That’s why immigration was a campaign issue.

There was a taxi driver from Ethiopia who got to America by way of South Africa. His passenger engaged him in conversation.  While living in Johannesburg, he had been robbed five times, on the street in daylight, in his shop, and in his home.  The police were corrupt.  They accepted a bribe from one arrested robber and didn’t prosecute another because there was police involvement in the crime.

He was asked about crime in his native Ethiopia.  He laughed and explained that it is a little better there but only because the government is criminal.

He was asked if he had experienced any crime in his 15 years living in the United States. He smiled a big smile and said, “No.”

We have it pretty good here.  We should thank God for that.  But as followers of Jesus, smug satisfaction that we are so privileged is never acceptable.  We should also thank God for opportunities to make things better.  There is nothing to keep us from working hard at that, regardless of who we elected president.

In Christ, John  rules for thanksgiving dinner