The Branch - August 5, 2018

Aug 15, 2018

As we enter into an election cycle (the Michigan primary election takes place on August 7 and the general election takes place on November 6), I find myself being bombarded with ad after ad after ad and chuckling when I am watching a show, such as the local news in the morning, and the entire commercial break is nothing but ads for political competitors.  Now, I know that I’m walking a fine line of avoiding endorsing anyone or pushing one political view or another. Let’s see if I can do this…

I find myself wondering if Aaron, Moses, or Jesus thought the same thing that I find myself thinking when I listen to the various political ads. I find myself thinking, more and more, that the people that make up our country are generally (certainly not all, but a growing number) interested in letting someone else take care of them. Do you see the same theme in the first reading? The Israelite community grumbles against Aaron and Moses who led them from slavery to freedom because they are hungry, starving. I can certainly imagine the frustration at giving up a level of comfort (food, shelter, water, etc) to trek out into the desert. And behold! Food was provided and the people ceased their grumbling against Aaron and Moses.

Jesus alludes to a similar line of thought in the Gospel of John. The crowd finds Jesus and his disciples across the sea. And the Lord says to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled.”

Aha! Just like throwing spare food to a flock of birds, the people went where they could get something for nothing. The crowd was looking for the easy way to get something for nothing. Jesus points out to us that the work of God is not something that we can just fall into. It requires effort and exercise. Isn’t it written that whoever comes to Jesus will not hunger and whoever believes in him will not thirst? Coming to Jesus and believing in him require effort and focus. It is not free.

I could not emphasize enough the importance of exercising your privilege to vote. It is essential to our way of life in America. All I ask is that you take the time and make the effort to discover the person for whom you are willing to cast your vote. Look beyond the “D”, “I”, or “R” of a candidate. Look beyond name recognition. Make an informed decision. Share your findings with your friends and family. Have the courage to cast your vote for someone that may not align with your preconceived notions. It is not enough to follow someone, anyone, who would give you free bread (“food that perishes”).

How did I do?

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