This is week three in a three-week series on things I am thankful for. The first two subjects were work and family. Today’s subject is grace. Three things definitely worthy of our thankfulness, three things we definitely need, and three things connected.
I often address the theme that most of life’s issues are non-respecter of person issues. Meaning that regardless of one’s race, socio-economic status, faith, education level, nationality or geographic region, the issue being discussed affects all of us equally. That is definitely true when it comes to the three things I have stated I am thankful for. Regardless of our background, all of us need to work, we all need family, and we all need grace – and we should be grateful for these things!
I went to thesaurus.com to consider all the words related to grace. It’s amazing as you can see, http://www.thesaurus.com/browse/grace. It is interesting to look at the antonyms as well.
Ultimately, I was thinking about forgiveness.
This Thanksgiving season we are coming out of a Presidential election where the word vitriolic sounds like an understatement. Following the election, the vitriol evidenced on the nightly news seems historically high.
I returned to thesaurus.com again to look up vitriol. The words that came up are: nastiness, contempt, hostility, sarcasm, distain, hatefulness, maliciousness. There are more – but that sums up what we have witnessed on the nightly news since we elected our next Commander in Chief, Donald Trump.
In multiple cities we have witnessed organized protests where citizens who, rather than getting permits and protesting peacefully which is their First Amendment right, have, among other things, inconvenienced their fellow citizens by shutting down traffic which defies the rule of law, meanwhile chanting “Not my President!”
So, I decided to do a little research on the closeness of Presidential elections. The electoral college is an important part of our republic, but today I am specifically speaking about the popular vote. Our electoral history has produced 45 Presidents as a result of 58 elections. Out of 58 elections, 7 were decided with less than a 1 % margin in the popular vote, 11 with less than a 3 % margin and 17 with less than a 5 % margin. Stated differently, almost a third of our national elections for Commander in Chief have been decided by a less than 5 % margin of the popular vote.
Division in our country is not new, but the lack of grace is, at least for most of us.
I don’t know about you, but I find this troubling. Especially when I consider the gospel message from Mark 6:14 & 15 “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
Just like my previous editorials of things I am thankful for, work and family, there is an indication that the things we are thankful for include responsibility. We can be thankful for work, and are responsible to work. We can be thankful for family, and we have a responsibility to family. Finally, we can be thankful for grace, but in order to receive grace, we have a responsibility, indeed a moral obligation to provide it.
I wish you and your family a rewarding Thanksgiving week. In our republic, we have much to be thankful for. After we recover from overeating and excessive football this weekend, I hope each of us will think about how we can be more graceful as we go about the work of providing for our family, the lowest level of civil governance and the communities we choose to reside in.