Dr. Tom Pace, Dr. Tom Pace lll, Senior Pastor St. Lukes UMC, Sr Pastor St Lukes

I voted early this year. It was an interesting experience, knowing that many of those in line with me were voting differently than I was. In contrast to what we see on the news, it was a very civil and friendly experience. There was nice conversation in the line about the Texans and the weather and the upcoming weekend. The people working the polling place were happy and very pleasant, both to the voters and to one another. The guy who gave me my “I Voted” sticker was absolutely jolly. There was no doubt that all of us, regardless of how we felt about the candidates or how we were going to vote, were proud to be Americans and proud of the process of which we were a part. I know our country has flaws, but I am incredibly grateful to be a part of this experiment in democracy. As I grow older, I become more and more patriotic, and I understand that around the world, it isn’t always this way.

So now, there is little left for me to do in this election except pray. So I pray for our leaders, whomever is elected, and particularly our new president. I pray that he or she will lead with courage and boldness, with righteousness and justice, for all of the people and not just those of his or her tribe or party.

I read again Psalm 72 today, one of my favorites, which is a blessing on the king. We don’t have kings, so I simply replace king with nation:

Give the king (nation) your justice, O God,
and your righteousness to a king’s son.
May he judge your people with righteousness,
and your poor with justice.
May the mountains yield prosperity for the people,
and the hills, in righteousness.
May he defend the cause of the poor of the people,
give deliverance to the needy,
and crush the oppressor.

My first and most important allegiance is to God, not my country. But because of that allegiance, I pray that we would continue to work together for that patriot’s dream, “that sees beyond the years. Thine alabaster cities gleam, undimmed by human tears.”