Rev. Charles H. Coleman, Sr., Ph.D., Pastor, New Faith Temple Church of God in Christ, Saginaw, MI, and Co-chair, Gamaliel National Religious Leaders’ Caucus
As we are coming to the national election of 2020, I ask that all of us reflect on both our responsibility to vote and the necessity of our participation in the voting process. I ask that we reflect on this from our position as people of faith.
As people of faith, it is important that we understand that most of the foundational documents of our faith professions are built around the teaching of love. As a Christian, Jesus Christ taught in the gospel of John, the 13th chapter, 34th verse: “ A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another” (ESV). When we pray before we vote, we should pray that the Lord lead us to vote in and with love in our hearts.
There was a time when many wore bracelets with the letters WWJD on them. We were reminded to ask ourselves in any situation, what would Jesus do?
Questions for Reflection
As we vote this election, ask yourself:
“What would Jesus do” and then vote your conscience.
Would Jesus be pleased with your vote?
Would Jesus respect your decision?
What would Jesus say about your vote when you stood before the judgment seat?
34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
The Common Prayer on Our Journey
Source of all being, Sacred mystery, you are the wellspring of justice. Weaver of the warp and weft of history, weave our lives into the fabric of your will. Guide us towards the Beloved Community. Forgive us when we have failed to give shape to the Beloved Community in our communities and in our lives.
All around us the ugly onslaughts of white nationalism, hate crimes, and systemic racism devastate your people, divide us, and threaten our democracy. All around us the wicked strut, and in high places are those who encourage the basest of attitudes and actions. Grant us wisdom and courage to confront these evils with the power of love and truth. Free us from timidity and equivocation. Help us to be bold in thought and action. May our lives and our faith communities model the change we hope to see in the world.
As we approach the November elections, keep us mindful that the right to vote is a sacred trust won by beatings, by imprisonments, by blood, by the relentless struggles of many who came before us. Help us to honor that legacy. May we vote our conscience and encourage others to do the same.
Heal our nation. Heal our hearts. Heal our nation. Amen.
Gamaliel National Religious Leaders’ Caucus invites you to 40 Days of Reflection on Our Journey to the Polls
Few national elections have had similar consequences as the November Election in 2020. Our nation stands in crisis and at a significant crossroad. The Gamaliel Network, an interfaith coalition of persons of faith who stand and act together for justice and equality, pledges to undergird the 40 days leading up to the election with prayer and reflection.
We urge you to use the Common Prayer below every day. On each day, we have asked a faith leader, from different traditions, to offer a reflection on the Common Prayer at this Moment of American Crossroads. We urge you to begin this prayer preparation with a day of fasting on Sept. 24,(or a similar expression of spiritual preparation), and then to engage in prayer at a time of your choosing each day, to prepare yourself, your friends and neighbors, and our nation, for this election.
The Gamaliel Religious Leaders Table has written a “Theological Statement on Hate Crimes and White Nationalism.” a faith statement on “White Nationalism.” The link to this statement is: https://gamaliel.org/our-work/religious-leaders-caucus/gnrlc-a-faithful-response-to-hate-crimes-and-white-nationalism/
Each reflection will include the leader’s personal reflection, questions for contemplation, and a suggested scriptural text from their tradition.
The Gamaliel National Religious Leaders’ Steering Committee