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Life in Greencastle - The Voice of the People

Did you happen to see the story about the political race in Massachusetts this week, the one that led to the people of Massachusetts electing its first Republican Senator in 38 years? Now, keep in mind this was the same state where Ted Kennedy held that Senatorial position for almost 47 years! Here's how the USA Today described the election: "Not in decades has the election of a single new senator caused such an upheaval in the capital's political calculations."

The reason this is such big news: by electing Republican Scott Brown as its next Senator, Massachusetts has altered the fate of the health care proposal for the entire nation. With Scott Brown headed to Washington, the health care proposal, which was already a hard sell, seems destined to be shelved. The president and the Democratic party are headed back to square one.

Now, I'm sure we could have quite a debate about whether this is good news or bad news, and - personally - I think that would be a great conversation to have as Christians and as a church community. But, I mention this election not to highlight this political issue. I mention this election because it demonstrates the power we have as voters.

It is an amazing thing to live in a country where the voice of the people still means something and means so much. Sure, we might joke or groan about the brokenness of the political system, but when you get right down to it we have tremendous power to affect change. That is even true in churches. In fact, the power might just be strongest within church communities. Tremendous change can and has begun in local congregations time and again. There's a reason politicians want to gain access to pulpits!

John Updike once said that church is, in fact, "the most available democratic experience" we have in America, and when you think about it, he's right. In churches, every person is given equal measure, equal worth ... and not just once a year, but every single week. Every single week, you are given a chance to stand up and share your concerns, to highlight needs in our community, to voice your hopes. That is a powerful gift, a right and freedom given to you by the grace of Jesus Christ. It is Jesus who makes you count. It is Christ who makes your voice part of the larger body.

I hope you will exercise that right and responsibility. Ask yourself: Who do you want to serve? What concern do you want to address?

What say ye?

Your voice matters.

Wes

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