Third rock from the Sun

It is Election Day, as this is typed. Polls are now opened and many hours to go before they close. Soon the decisions will be announced, the voters having spoken.

And of course much will be made of this in time to come. The national press, well really the national press pundits, will spill gallons of ink and burn acres of bandwidth presenting their version of “what this means.” The less elevated, the social media constitutional scholars and their like, will weigh in with their imitation of this. (Well sure, and some gloating, politics being another form of sporting event in some minds.) Our inbox will blow up with story suggestions and submissions.

“Here’s that this means!” will be the lead-in, “Here, at last, where this is all going now,” will be another.

And the Sun will come up Wednesday morning, and life will have moved a little farther on down the line. Someone will have won an election, someone else not.

We suggest, end of the day, that we all win. Yes, granted, these are strangely polarizing times, amplified by the self-casting of social media with the supercharged boost of enticing propaganda to share, but still, even against the noisy haze of victory dances and misspelled pontifications we all win.

America, riding on that rock some distance from the Sun, will have made it farther on down the line.

It’s easy to neglect that, especially in, again, these times, but the idea that we would be able to vote for our representatives, that we would, even, be able to say things about our representatives that would be less-than complimentary (leave alone write newspaper editorials about such matters!) was once radical, strikingly so.

And, then, that these same representatives would be able to assume their office, and if they were transitioning into an office once led by another elected representative, and do so in an orderly fashion, well, that was just crazy! You mean anyone can elect anybody? That it would be a government by the people? Insane!

And yet here we are: America, government by the people, elected representatives.

This of course didn’t just happen. Those who proposed this form of government out loud took significant risk. Others, in turn, enamored of the idea took further significant risk in bringing it to fruition. Indeed we, at this distant time, will never know the names of all the patriots who died in some forgotten somewhere in order to move America farther on down the line.

We will work to recall them, to remember them and do so fondly. There in the Wednesday din of post-election tea-leaf reading we’ll recall that, most important of all, that our nation, our state, and yes, our county, moves down the line by the grace of God and the sacrifice of so many.

And then we’ll change the channel, the Earth will move relative to the Sun, and it will be a new day in the land of winners.

Mark 12: 13-17 (NIV)

Paying the Imperial Tax to Caesar

13 Later they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Jesus to catch him in his words. 14 They came to him and said, “Teacher, we know that you are a man of integrity. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not? 15 Should we pay or shouldn’t we?”

But Jesus knew their hypocrisy. “Why are you trying to trap me?” he asked. “Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.” 16 They brought the coin, and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?”

“Caesar’s,” they replied.

17 Then Jesus said to them, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”

And they were amazed at him.