For Election Day Communion

For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.’ For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. (I Corinthians 11:23-26)

Election Day Communion is a national movement of Christians who want to declare our allegiance to Christ over and above our allegiance to a particular political party–or even a particular nation. When I last checked the Election Day Communion website, there were 835 groups who had signed up as participants in this event.

That means that on election night, there will be tens of thousands of Christians gathering together around the Lord’s Table. Tens of thousands of Christians who will share the bread and the cup as brothers and sisters–despite political differences. Tens of thousands of voices raised to heaven praying, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done.”

There will be tens of thousands of Christians across the country remembering together, entering together into the story of what happened with Jesus and his disciples on the night that Jesus was betrayed.

This is the story we are choosing–the story we tell at the Lord’s Table.

For months now politicians, unions, corporations, Facebook friends, have been trying to get us to participate in their stories. So many different stories; all wanting our buy-in–our agreement, our money, our vote.

Stories of a successfully recovering economy and stories of failed economic policies.

Stories of family values and stories of civil rights.

Stories of the war on women and stories of the evils of abortion.

Stories of care for the vulnerable and stories of entitlement programs.

Stories of environmental responsibility and stories of the need for job creation.

We’ve heard so many stories. And we hear them all in the context of our own unique life stories. The stories we live affect the stories we believe. And my guess is that, if you vote, the stories you believe play a big role in who you vote for.

It is fine to go to the voting booth. But it is more important to come to the Table. Our presence at the Table bears witness to the fact that whatever social, political, moral, economic stories we might believe, this is the central story for our lives. This is the Story by which all other stories are measured. This story of God’s deep love for us in creation, in covenant, and ultimately, in Jesus Christ.  This story that proclaims Good News, freedom, healing. This story that proclaims a love stronger than hate, a life bigger than ourselves, a power stronger than death.

It is this story of the life, death, and resurrection of Christ that claims our allegiance. Now and always. Amen.

Please Take this Quiz so We Know Whether You Should Vote

I first heard about the group United in Purpose several weeks ago on NPR. This group’s stated goal is to get more Christians registered to vote. They use data mining to determine who is Christian and check those names against voter registration records. If you get labeled “Christian” and you’re not registered, you may get a knock on your door soon.

Don’t worry, though. Lots of you won’t make the “Christian” cut. I know I wouldn’t.

In order to be a “Christian,” you have to have a total score of over 600 points. That’s how the folks at United in Purpose know you are “very serious about your faith.”

How can you earn these “Christian points”? There are many ways. You can be on an anti-abortion list. You can be on record as supporting “traditional marriage.” You get points for home-schooling your kids and for being a NASCAR fan. You get points if you like to fish. (After all, Jesus’ first disciples liked to fish.)

Oh, yeah. You also get points for going to church on a regular basis. Yes! Finally! I’ve earned some Christian points! But probably nowhere near 600 of them.

You know, I kind of like this idea of finding lots of people who agree with me and making sure they all vote. The problem is, I don’t have the time or money or technical savvy to pull off a big operation like United in Purpose.

So here’s the lazy version. I’ve got a quiz below. Score yourself. If you get 600 points or more, please be sure you are registered to vote. If you have between 200 and 599 points, vote if you want—I really don’t care. And if you have less than 200 points, rest assured we are not having any elections in this country for at least five or ten years.

Joanna’s Quiz to See if You Should Vote
(Points awarded based on the example of Jesus and my own personal crazy liberal prejudices.)

  1. You volunteer at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter—score 20 points for each time you volunteered in the last six months. (Subtract 50 points if you made people affirm Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior before you would feed them.)
  2. Since Jesus died by state-sanctioned execution, you’ve advocated for an end to the death penalty—score 100 points.
  3. You have ever cast out a demon—score 50 points. (Subtract 200 points if you did it for a reality TV show.)
  4. You listen to good Christian music like Bach, Mozart, Les Miserables, John McCutcheon and/or the Indigo Girls—score 100 points.
  5. You give money to a church with a “Peace and Justice” committee (or some other such bleeding heart communist group)–score 100 points. (You’re on the Peace and Justice committee? Fifty bonus points.)
  6. You are able to remain patient and speak in a calm voice with people who just don’t seem to get it despite your repeated demonstrations and explanations—score 50 points.
  7. You speak more than one language, and speak kindly to people who speak more than one language—score 100 points.
  8. You’ve ever sat in the middle of a pile of kids—score 50 points. (Fifty more points if you prayed a prayer of blessing–silent or spoken–over their little wiggly, giggly bodies.)
  9. Your mother is a virgin—score 600 points.
  10. You frequently invite random tax collectors, prostitutes, and fishermen (or other assorted outcasts) to dinner—score 100 points.
  11. You are willing to wash people’s feet—or even their dishes—score 100 points.
  12. You, like Jesus, think that everyone should have access to safe, affordable health care—even women (and even when the health issues are related to a woman’s vagina)–score 200 points.

*That’s it, folks. Total up your points and get yourself registered to vote—or not. We’re on the honor system here.