Some of my earliest memories are going with my parents to vote.
They were school teachers so when Election Day came around and we were out of school, voting was a family affair. We’d head in our bright yellow station wagon to the church that served as our polling place, walk in to the booth with the little curtain, and watch watch my parents fill out their ballots.
As a parent myself, I’ve kept that tradition of voting as a family affair. I’ve taken my children, the neighbor’s children, kids I’ve been babysitting; once I took seven kids with me to vote. Having them see that there is joy, pride, hope and desperate need in exercising our civic duties is crucial for me – I want them to experience the possibilities that our acts can make.
But why, as a follower of Jesus, should we vote? Jesus didn’t participate in a democratic process when he was alive. Caesar wasn’t elected by the electoral college to rule over Rome and all its occupied territories; he occupied that space through brute force. Jesus came to fully usher in a new realm, a new reign, a new kin-dom, not created by the efforts of human beings but inhabited by the power of God.
So why vote? We vote because we love. We love the children in our communities who are being left behind in failing school systems. We love our LGBTQIA+ siblings whose very existence is being erased. We love our siblings of color who suffer brutality at the hands of legal systems. We love our Muslim siblings, our Jewish siblings, our Latino/x siblings whose lives are threatened with hate-filled speech and actions every day. We love our neighbors who live in poverty because of economic decisions made by powerful people to cheat them out of their generational land.
So today, we vote. As an act of love. As an act of spiritual resistance. As an act of care for all of creation. As an act of faithfulness to Jesus. Thanks be to God!
Wendy Hudson-Jacoby is the Pastor of Two Rivers Church in Charleston, SC. As a life-long United Methodist, she spent her formative years worshiping at First United Methodist Church, Lancaster. She attended the University of South Carolina, where she majored in print journalism. After graduating, she served as a young adult missionary through the Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church and spent 18 months in Mumbai, India, and 18 months in Philadelphia. She attended Wesley Theological Seminary and spent her first seven years of full-time ministry in the Eastern Pennsylvania Annual Conference. She returned to her home state in 2011 to become the pastor of North Charleston United Methodist Church. In July 2017, their family moved to Clements Ferry Road to start Two Rivers Church, South Carolina’s newest United Methodist Church.