There are some pastors out there who stay away from politics altogether because they think the church has no role in politics. I can't do that, because Jesus's redemption of the world includes the political realm. Jesus has something to say to politics.
There are other pastors out there who endorse candidates as God's chosen, as though the job of a democratically elected official is to perform on behalf of a faith. I won't do that, because this is an abuse of political power and unhealthfully binds the church to the state. Jesus has something to say to politics, but Jesus is beyond our politics. Jesus refused the crown in Israel and the church should avoid unfair political privilege.
At some point, though, we've got to recognize that there's theological ramifications to our political choices. I'm not hoping just that you vote, though that's certainly a privilege all Americans ought to utilize. I'm praying - fervently - that you vote in ways that align with God's compassionate and inclusive witness found throughout the Scriptures. I'm praying that you emphasize the full personhood of women, the rights of immigrants and refugees, and the equal rights of all people. If you're white, male, or heterosexual, I'm praying that you vote in ways that reduce our privilege, because that's a good thing. Accomplishing equity isn't unfair, because giving others something we don't need in order to allow us the same experience is, in fact, a Biblical blessing (see, well, any of the prophets). If you're a conservative or a liberal or anywhere else on the spectrum of political preference, I'm praying that you identify this way because you find it to be life giving for everyone and not just yourself.
In the midst of all of this, I hope you're taking serious account of the candidates words and how nonpartisan groups are grading their stated policies. I hope you're concerned that we don't have a viable candidate for peace. I hope you're concerned about the rights of African Americans, of Native Americans, and other groups who still feel active oppression in acute ways. I hope you're voting for citizens who are elderly, disabled, homeless, hungry, or who otherwise need assistance. I hope you're remembering that this country isn't yours, but ours, and that as a Christian we're called bless others with life abundant, regardless of their religious conviction.
I hope you vote on Tuesday and that you keep that stuff in mind when you do. If you've already taken advantage of early or absentee voting, I hope some of these things were in your mind.
Fundamentally, remember that we're not voting for a savior. We've already got one of those, and Jesus is fully what we need for that. As members of Christ's Body, Jesus calls us to fill in those areas where the government isn't reflecting God's kingdom. Voting allows us the opportunity to express our desire for a more compassionate, inclusive country, but no matter who ends up in office or what laws are passed, we're still called to lives of compassion and inclusive. No border wall, oppressive law, or prejudiced politician can remove our calling from Christ. I hope you vote on Tuesday, but on Wednesday, and every day thereafter, I pray that you'll live the kind of life you want to vote into office, and even more than that, the kind of abundant life opened to us in the cross and resurrection of Jesus.
Simultaneously a sinner and a saint.