Faith, Hope and Love

"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."

1 Corinthians 13:13

As we approach the inauguration of Barack Hussein Obama as the 44th president of the United States, and the first African-American (read: black) president, I am reminded of the divisiveness of this campaign season and my participation in it. I certainly was divided, heavily. I am in a minority among those of my faith who voted the way I did. How could I vote for someone who supports abortion? How could I support someone who wants to take away our guns? How could I support someone who wants to be sworn in on the Koran?

You see, it's easy to get caught up in the rhetoric of partisanship and the hype and the rumors that fly around behind the scenes. "Republicans don't care about the environment". Can you see how easy it is? "Democrats are lazy and don't want to work". Easy as pie. But I think that there is one thing that we can all do together.

1 Corinthians 13 tells us that when perfection comes, imperfection disappears, and what is left is "faith, hope, and love". The Obama campaign slogan was based on the idea of hope. Say what you want, it tapped into something that many Americans were looking for. Most of us don't even know what to hope for. I hope for an administration that doesn't go to war without good reason and an exit strategy. I hope that people who need medical attention get the assistance they need. I hope that we can get along with our neighbors, no matter what their persuasion. That means I need to get to know my neighbors who had McCain signs in their lawn. My guess is that we all have hopes. The majority of Americans have or at least want hope, the election of Barack Obama proves that. But we need to respect that all of our hopes won't be the same. Rush Limbaugh hopes that Obama will fail. I don't understand it, but I need to respect that.

A Barna Group study shows that the vast majority of us believe in God. That means the vast majority of us have faith, because God is not provable.

So the majority of us have faith and hope. What about love? Well, I propose that love is the one thing that we can all agree on. Love knows no partisanship, it knows no financial status, it knows no color, and it know absolutely NO LIMITS. That means that I get over myself and love the people that I dislike the most. We all love the people that we like. That's easy. It is when the divide is the greatest that we must prove that love is greater than our hope and faith. Hopes are as varied as the people that have them, and faith can be placed (or misplaced) in many different things. But love, which Merriam-Webster defines as " unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another", takes us out of ourselves and demands that we pay attention to those around us. I think that is something that we can all agree on, even on a day as potentially divisive as today.



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