Lord God, you call your people to honor those in authority. Help us elect trustworthy leaders, participate in wise decisions for our common life, and serve our neighbors in local communities. Bless the leaders of our land, that we may be at peace among ourselves and a blessing to other nations of the earth; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

—Evangelical Lutheran Worship

Breathe. Good government is a gift of God. This was central to Luther’s thought. We need government. Moreover, we need good government. This weekend, as we observe All Saints Day and in Latin@ culture, Días de los Muertos, let is also pray for our elections.

This is election week in the U.S. We live in a society where the people choose our leaders. It’s not a perfect system, but consider the alternative. In order for the system to work, the people must engage. Study, pray and vote!

This year in Texas, more people have already voted in early voting than the total turnout in the 2016 election. Across the U.S. the number is also high. About 139M voted in 2016 (roughly 55.7% of those who are of voting age). 88M have voted as of October 30. This is going to be a record year. This is good news. The higher percentage of those voting, the likelier the outcome is a decision of the majority, rather than the choice of a driven minority.

God has no party. Both parties have policies they believe are best for the common good. Both parties are corrupted by sin. As Christians, concerned for the hungry, the stranger, the poor and the vulnerable, we seek leadership that will tend to the greatest good, regardless of party. Let us vote in ways that make for peace, not war. Let us vote in ways that support those in need. Let us vote in ways that respond to the current pandemics of COVID-19, racial injustice, the global refugee crisis and the wave of hate speech and action.

Anxiety is high after in a pandemic year that has claimed nearly a quarter of a million lives so far. Debates over how to respond, including angry altercations over masks and social distancing, have raised everyone’s hackles. More instances of racial violence have reminded us of the inequities of our society. Here in the Gulf Coast, Louisiana has suffered three direct hits from hurricanes, leaving millions without power for weeks. The election adds to this tension.

So this week I ask you to pray, study and vote. Once you have voted, remain constant in prayer, which lowers anxiety, focuses us, and leads us to meditate and act on things that really matter. Speak boldly. Treat all with love and kindness. And remember that though the arc of history is long, it bends toward justice.