Faith Matters: He Never Left

Pastor Shawn Hannon

In case you haven’t heard, it’s nearly election time. In just days we will hear our first presidential debate, more and more signs will begin to litter our neighbors lawns, and Facebook will become a battleground of half-truths from the left and the right. Exciting, I know. Well, call me old school, but the thing I like most about election time is bumper stickers. Bumper stickers force us to get to the heart of the issue in a clear and concise way. They make us communicate our issue and nothing else. But just because I like bumper stickers, does not mean I always like what they have to say.

While driving through town the other day I got stopped at a cross walk behind several cars. As I waited for the pedestrians to cross, a bumper sticker two cars ahead of me caught my attention. It simply read, “We Need God in America Again.” As I continued to drive the words echoed in my head, “We Need God in America Again… We Need God in America Again…” Finally, I voiced my concern, “I didn’t realize God had left.”

I cannot think of a crazier thing than the notion that God has left America, except, of course, the notion that we have the power to throw God out. God created this world, and his presence is known in every part of it. Long before there was a USA, God was stacking up the Rocky Mountains and carving out the Finger Lakes. Are we to believe that now, because things do not look like they once did, that God has left? Of course not. What that person’s bumper sticker meant to read was “I Want MY God Back in America Again.”

In six weeks this great nation will make the most important civic decision imaginable. The ability to elect our leaders is an incredible freedom and honor. I hope everyone participates. But don’t deceive yourself or sell our God short. We are electing a president, not granting God permission to reign in his creation. He is here already because he has always been here. And the good news is he will never leave. (Matthew 28:20).

Pastor Shawn Hannon
Hope Lutheran Church
2 East Main Street
Arcade, NY 14009