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The Smart and the rest of us…


I was struck this year as I preached the Jeremiah text on Reformation Day.  I used Eugene Peterson’s translation “The Message” on Wednesday’s worship and this is what I read, ““This is the brand-new covenant that I will make with Israel when the time comes. I will put my law within them—write it on their hearts!—and be their God. And they will be my people. They will no longer go around setting up schools to teach each other about God. They’ll know me firsthand, the dull and the bright, the smart and the not so smart. I’ll wipe the slate clean for each of them. I’ll forget they ever sinned!” God’s Decree.” (Jer 31:33-34)

What struck me was “The dull and the bright, the smart and the not so smart.”  Tomorrow Americans will go to the polls and if history and the polls hold true no matter how you vote half of the country will be “not so smart.”  We will ask questions about how could so many people vote for (insert candidate of choice here).  We will wonder how so many people can be so wrong, we will question our neighbors, family members, CNN or Fox News, we will wonder how half of the people in this great nation can be so misguided.

The good news is, God’s love and law is written on our heart, God is our God, we are God’s people, the smart… and the not so smart.  Now, I have never been one for bumper sticker theology and I can often be found mocking “pithy” church signs.  However, I passed one today that touched on the “smart and not so smart.”  It said, “No matter who wins on Tuesday, God still reigns.”

As I have gotten older I have noticed that often we want to put an OR where God puts an AND.  We divide – LCMS/ELCA/NALC/LCMC/WELS/AELC – and that’s just inside Lutheranism – toss in RC, PCUSA, UMC, WAC, ECUSA, PCA – and in some part of our hearts we look at our divisions and think God must see OR.  We see Republican OR Democrat OR Independent.  We see Male OR Female.  We see Jew OR Gentile.  We see Slave OR Free – God sees Me AND You no matter where we fall on one side or another of a human line of demarcation.  We may see the smart and the not so smart – God sees the broken and in need – and God wipes they slate clean for each of us, God forgets our sin, God reigns – no matter which side of the lines we fall.

When you wake up on Wednesday, before wondering how half of the country isn’t so smart utter this small prayer, “Jesus is Lord, Amen, come Lord Jesus,” and realize that half of the country is wondering why you aren’t so smart.


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