DEVOTIONS @ 205.825.9633
Senior Minister Ricky A. Woods
@ 8:15am & 7:15pm
Dial (205) 825-9633 a few minutes ahead of the scheduled start time.
P.S. REMEMBER, DON'T ANNOUNCE YOURSELF AFTER THE START TIME AND PLEASE PUT YOUR PHONE ON MUTE!
Today is election day and many are feeling uneasy about what the day may possibly hold.
We have watched as the democratic norms that guide our democracy have been shredded. We have witnessed new forms of voter suppression as well as old tried-and-true forms targeted at minority communities that make us wonder if we have entered a time warp.
In spite of all that makes us uneasy, we are encouraged by the record vote turn out in early voting that tells us persons are overcoming whatever barriers are placed before them to vote. Young and old, rich and poor, urban and rural are all casting their ballot. Yet this is the first national election where we question if there will be a peaceful transfer of power.
The psalmist has a word for us in these uneasy moments. He was a person who knew something about the fragile nature of governments. Although not denying his civic responsibility, he tells us of the importance of a higher hope than that provided by politicians.
He says “I have seen your power in the place of worship.” What the psalmist is saying is that he recognizes the power of God to regulate and to make right. He knows something about the power of God to fix what is broken and to mend what is ruptured. “I have seen your power in the place of worship and I know that your power is not confined to places of worship alone.” God’s power can transcend any barrier or limitation and make its presence known. “I have seen your power in the place of worship” is what gives the psalmist confidence in the present moment in spite of the uneasiness in the atmosphere.
The psalmist’s response to what he sees leads him to praise. “You Lord mean more than life to me and I will praise you.” The psalmist puts his focus not upon what makes him uneasy, but on the God who means so much to him. This is not the mindless praise that ignores certain realities and tries to wish them away. This is the praise that says God means more than the condition that I am in and I will choose to praise him even if my condition does not change. Praise is the opportunity for the faithful to respond to God through faith. Praise is the way trust in God is lived out in the choices we make.
Finally, the psalmist says “I will pray to you.” There is a recognition of just how little in life is in our control. Whereas we should do what we can do by voting and advocating for what we believe is right, we should never forget to pray. Our right to vote only came after years of struggle and prayer.
When we pray we garner God’s attention. When we pray we open ourselves to receive something from above. Sometimes it takes something from above to move things below. May it be so this day as we pray… because we have seen His power.