Light Magazine Presidential Letters

A Nation in Need of Hope

As we all know, we are in the midst of a polarized moment in our nation. While the public square has always been a boisterous place dedicated to the exchange of ideas and values, thoughtful discourse and debate, and a genuine curiosity of others’ different beliefs and traditions, today, it is much more akin to a battleground transforming neighbors into combatants. 

Throughout generations, the public square has manifested itself at the dining room table, the ballpark, the office, the classroom, the department store, or wherever people might interact with each other. Sadly, these places have not escaped the unyielding tensions of our times. Instead of trading ideas, we trade insults. Bad-faith actors boost ratings, gain followers, sow grievance, and produce an artificial sense of reality—all for the goal of self-gain. We feel this everywhere. 

Thankfully, our participatory system was set up with a feature that serves as a natural outlet to register our wishes, concerns, anxieties, and fears: elections. Elections serve as a microphone for every voter. The voting booth is a place where a voter makes their convictions and values known. Sadly, even elections have become warped in terms of their ability to meet expectations set by candidates overpromising and operating recklessly, using apocalyptic terms to describe the next election. 

So how are voters to approach the election season and the wild debates that invade our homes?

We don’t need more commentary, more debate, or more personality. What is missing in all this is something that gave our young and optimistic nation fuel and zeal. Something that kept previous generations going in the midst of war, depression, epidemic, racism, slavery, or scandal. Something that is vital for survival, yet painfully underestimated. 

Hope. 

Our nation needs hope again. It craves it. Not just some artificial or material hope that comes through an ad campaign or social media post. This hope cannot come from economic data or medical research or an elected official. True hope for our world is eternal and can only be found in one source: Jesus.

Christians play a vital role in an election year. As God’s people, we have been commissioned to be salt and light, and an election year provides Christians an opportunity to be a city on a hill, demonstrating that our citizenship is not of Earth but of a Kingdom far greater. 

This issue of Light magazine seeks to help Christians think biblically about how we proclaim that eternal hope in an election year, not for our renown or the advancement of our own agenda, but for the glory of God.



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