Editor's Note: Mark Schloneger is pastor of North Goshen Mennonite Church in Goshen, Indiana.
By Mark Schloneger, Special to CNN
It seems frivolous, even foolish.
On Tuesday, as the world turns its attention to who will occupy the most powerful office of the world’s most powerful nation, hundreds of churches will gather across the United States to worship a servant.
As votes are counted to elect a president, thousands of Christians will take the bread and the cup to remember their crucified Lord.
As winners are projected and the electoral map is updated, Christians of many denominations will sing their praises and proclaim their loyalty to Jesus.
It seems ridiculous, even silly.
After all, America is at a crossroads, and we are in the midst of one of the most critical presidential elections of our lifetimes. We know this because people have recited this same tired mantra before every presidential election.
How the White House changed Barack Obama’s faith
Our fears, our hopes, our worries and our struggles are the currency that buys our votes. And how do politicians and their supporters acquire this precious currency? They invest billions of dollars to foment fear, inspire hope, create worry and exploit our struggles.
It’s a power play. Some of us are pawns, and some of us are participants. But some of us are choosing a different part.
I initiated the Election Day Communion Campaign out of a concern that Christians in the United States are being shaped more by the tactics and ideologies of political parties than by our identity and unity in Christ. Out of this concern, a simple vision sparked the imaginations of congregations nationwide: the church being the church on Election Day, gathering at the Lord’s Table to remember, to give thanks for, and to proclaim its loyalty to Jesus.
The making of a candidate: Mitt Romney’s faith journey
Gathering for Communion on Election Day seems fitting, for the practice of Communion is an inherently political act. It is both a pledge of allegiance to Jesus and a declaration of independence from all other powers making claims on our bodies, minds and souls.
Far too often, the church has abandoned its first love for the siren song of political parties promising protection, prosperity and peace. Far too many times, the church has ceded the practice of its faith to the spiritual and the private while leaving others to address matters of justice. And far too frequently, the church has attempted to speak truth to power while seeking and relying on that same power for protection.
The bread and the cup are God’s antidotes to our fickle memories. As we eat and drink together, we remember that all things fall under the lordship of Christ. We remember our sin and need to repent.
CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories
We remember that God has lifted up the humble, filled the hungry with good things, and chosen to reveal God’s strength through our weakness.
We remember that the only Christian nation in this world is the church, the holy nation that transcends all human-made walls, boundaries and borders.
As we gather at the table, we remember that the power to redeem, to save, and to transform comes not from atop the seat of power but from within the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.
Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter
We will gather for Election Day Communion not because we think that the issues at stake in this election are unimportant or that our votes don’t really matter. No, we will gather for Communion because we think that the issues at stake in all elections are far too important to be relegated to our votes alone.
The Lord’s Supper reminds followers of Jesus to practice the politics of Jesus. To me, practicing the politics of Jesus means working to protect the sanctity of all human life, whether it is found in the womb, in prison, or in countries at war against us.
It means choosing the way of forgiveness and reconciliation rather than vengeance and violence. It means practicing an economy based on generosity and mutual aid.
It means offering care and compassion to suffering people regardless of their immigration status, economic class or religious practice.
It means being good stewards of God’s good creation. And, most of all, it means allowing God’s kingdom to break into the entirety of our lives, from the privacy of our homes to the politics we practice in public.
The bread and the cup keep calling me back to the table inscribed with memory. There, I remember God’s choice for the transfer of power. There, I remember where to go with my fears, my hopes, my worries and my struggles. At the table, with my sisters and brothers, I am in the presence of the Holy.
Though I’m interested in the outcome of the presidential election, I won’t be watching the projected results as they are announced. I’ve made a prior commitment. I intend to honor it.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Mark Schloneger.
"It seems ridiculous, even silly" – well, yes. Cult ritual is kind of silly.
This just in: Hurricane Sandy was created by the Democratic Party and will now be the reason why Mitt Romney loses his bid for the White House. That's right, Obama had the government create Sandy just to mess with Romney.
Well, that's the story that Carl Rove and others on the Right are getting ready to spin, when Romney loses. That is all.
The Republican party has become a parody of itself. So much so that your joke could very well be true. They have literally resorted to the fantasy world they have always tread on the edge of. They fell in.
The good news, whatever happens, Romney will be the final nail in their coffin as we know it. I don't know what the next incarnation will look like, but there was a time where Republicans were not a joke so who knows and were not destructive like this.
Sick, I agree with you. The OLD Republican Party was acually very liberal in many ways, compared to the current one. I think with Citizens United and this election, we are starting to see what has to be a major change in the way we go about electing a president. The Sandy joke is actually based on something that Carl Rove said on FOX today and one of Romney's surrogates has already hinted that they will use Sandy as an excuse when Romney loses on Tuesday. The hurricane stopped his momentum they will say.
The ONLY way you can suggest that you know anything about God or the hereafter is to believe you can fathom infinity. I don't know anyone who can claim this.
What does infinity have to do with belief in god? There's no connection whatever.
Dude go back to your video games. You believe everything but actually know nothing.
What you are suggesting is impossible. If there is a god, and god has always existed, then how you overlook infinity and what that means?
Sick things that is. Never seen the man behind the curtain. For a god who loves us so much he.dont come around often. Pay a brother a visit!
Furthermore, it is pitifull that when challenged with such and obvious component of reality, perhaps the most important, you dismess it as if there were no such concept? Where did god come from? That is the question you must ask.
God came from the visions of men who wanted to believe that something existed beyond what they saw. And live forever because that would be awesome.
Carter, I appreciate your effort but you are really not understanding my points.
It's somewhat easy to fathom infinity. Just clear your mind of its' wasted spaces and imagine one is headed to the outermost reaches of the Cosmos and look back when you arrive there, then you will be at a point in time where history is repeating itself and God is saying, "Let there be light!"
On the other regards of infinity, clear your mind of its' wasted spaces and imagine one is headed to the innermost reaches of inner space and look about and what will you see? You will see the family of God and all His Godly from first born to last born and all God's kin and servants.
How easy can it be if one but believes?
@God's Oldest Dreamer
I have started enjoying your presence here, however I do not uderstand this post. Seems beneath you.
Beneath me? How so? What I spiritually believe in is that the Families of God including God Himself lives upon the very first created Cosmos which is the inner Cosmos. Our being but upon this celestial cosmos is due our being cast out of the Inner Cosmos for many reasons. Some were cast out of this Inner Cosmos for faultering and some for continuing to do the Lord's Will here upon this celestial realm of gigantic life forms whereupon their insides are living many families of God's members. We live upon this realm doing what we want while many of us unify ourselves in the communal. My way is not your way and yet when we cross paths we receive each other and walk on.
Therefore, walk placidly amid the noise and waste ever being mindful of the peace one finds in finding peace there about.
Let Us Love,
I have lived a long time, and I've followed politics for nearly half a century, and I've NEVER seen GOD so much inthe conversation as this time around. We have to find a way to get God out of politics and back in the church, get the government back in Washington and out of the Church, and stop the madness... Maine is voting on same-se x marriage and both sides are hacking away at each other, but the Christian side is using more lies and fear mongering than facts and reason.
And let's get Pot legalized in Washington, Oregon and Colorado.
Agreed, this War on Drugs is killing America. We now incarcerate MORE of our population than ANY other country in the world... that's scary..
I say if you want to do drugs, then go for it.. you only hurt yourself and maybe your family, but if you are in jail, your family is going to suffer anyway, right.?
Agreed, the first step would be the removal of the npo status from all churchs, and all organizations run by them.
F church . Life has been so much better since I stopped believing that crap. More money too since I don't feel the need to pay money for Jesus' love anymore. Liberating.
Sensible people. So hard to find. Sigh.
What a worthless article. Why does this even get the time of day? The media should keep this religious garbage out of the publics eyes so it will just go away.
Agreed, theists need to but the f out of politics. This is not, and never was a christian nation.
Just a blog. Everyone has one. People continue to but into this unverifiable nonsense so it will get press. Funny how everything with magical powers is fake except for Jesus? Heal lepers. Drown kids in storms and allow dbag Taliban to throw acid on women who try to go to school. Yeah, there is a God.
@carter, your evidence just argues there isn't a nice, or at least all powerful god...still couoldbe jerky, sort of weak, or multple fighting gods. Not a theist myself, just saying.
@mcr Word up. No white bearded god exist. People want to believe so bad so that they get their eternal life. Greed at the highest level.
@Carter, I doubt even most Christians believe in the beard. But you can't have proof none exists, it's not logically possible to prove such a thing, and most people know this, so you are best off offering up your own more plausible, and hopefully tempting, realities. But what brings about lack of belief fastest is creation of a social infrastructure to replace the church. Arguing is much less persuasive.
Not sure that I even care. I am fascinated by the fact that we live on a floating.ball. Can't prove god exists or not definitely, but what has been written by men smells like BS to me.
Jesus lubes me this I know
For my preist has told me so
Little ones are his to use
Tiny bottoms light his fuse
Might as well vote for Jesus. We are voting for guys who.cant do crap anyway not sure how a fairy tale could do much worse.
They can't do crap? THEY CAN'T DO CRAP? That is all they CAN do is crap. I need something more, something that will help me to not have to work. My feelings about work are well documented.
Dude then Obama is your man. Don't want to work? He's got someone else's money waiting to pay your lazy butt
Then I will vote for that guy...then. Which one is he?
Can it be said and also inferred that all of Life here upon these celestial shorelines of life-forms resonate from a single celled life-form all the ways to massive cellularized life formations? Is it 'not' written within the Gospels that mankind is but buildings that are husbanded by the Godly? Do we not labour together with God in our tasks? Who among us can deny our psychic Being as being un/just and un/righteous God-Heads?
Nothing is a Foreverness and Matter, in its' infinitesimally established finiteness, is a materialized foreverness unobtainable by us, human-like megaliths called mankind. We are all giants too huge and too vast for us to ever re-enter in wholeness back into the Kingdoms of God which are inside or within our bodies. So many damningly dumb buildings of evolution's ascension into the spatial voids of outward motions sanctioned by the Godly! Too little are our intellectual abaters
1Corinthians 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building.
Luke 17:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
Ergo. does that mean dumbness is genetical or is it societal hierarchies being the dumbness from which socialisms are currently adorned and auspisciously bequeathed?
We are but celestial manifestations of God's creativities. Evolution is but the Gods'(plural) works and there is reason why we were the last limb to be raised from Fractal Cosmology.
Dude, you're going deep
That is some F'd up nonsense you're spewing brother. Have a nap, y'old dreamer. You're dialing it in from WAY out there.
I have only scratched the surface of the inner sub-atomic Domains of Fractal Cosmologies,,, :-)
Rather 'way down deep' and from the inner depths of spatial relativity,,,,, :-)
I didn't say take six of those and call me in the morning, I said take two.
What's that Doc? Take two? I thought I was to take only one? Olanzapine 15mg powerful sh!t
there is absolutely no evidence of an even, orderly distribution of galaxies. your fractal cosmology is lovely science fiction but bears no resemblance to reality.
there's absolutely no evidence of gods. your use of the latin word "ergo" betrays a deficit in education.
mentally challenged people like yourself shouldn't be allowed to have internet connections.
What poo you spew...
You sir, are a silly little man... I for one am casting my vote for the sun.
Yeah! The sun is God. Without it we are dead.
Ra Ra Ra for He is our man and if Ra can;t do it nobody can!
Hello, we of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Counsel have been following your comments closely and are disgusted to see all the blasphemy and the fine name of LDS/Mormonism dragged through the mud.
We are better connected than you might know, so the next time you find yourself at a ski resort and pick up your equipment then head to the slopes, don't blame us if your ski boots are several sizes too small or that one ski is shorter than the other... blame yourselves. And may God's love be with you.
Oh that's so funny...
Reading your comment – really is funny. You're telling everybody that you are that vindictive and against forgiveness. Your god would be pleased to hear that you do not care for the practice of forgiveness. So funny.
"they caused me personal discomfort when they have confronted my pitiful religion and my god. I shall make them uncomfortable when they come to my business."
"Don't blame us" ?
Who should we blame? Jebus?
Have you ever wondered why you are uncomfortable when you are confronted on your religion?
Lds is a cult, dangerous and evil. But no worse then any other theistic mumbo jumbo
F mormons. Crazies
Golden Plates, what the hell are you doing here on CNN time pass board? you should be busy making crank calls for your Golden Boy Romney, don't let him down.
Why do people resist common sense morality? It is because Satan is the ruler of the world right now. Pray for the return of Jesus.
Morality? What's moral about people like you?
Pray hard ... really hard, and get a confirmation on the DATE.
Ok Mighty Hand, I just did it. I prayed for Jesus to return. Now what?
Pray for the return of Jeeeebus?
Why'd he leave in the first place?
Jeebus, we hardly knew ye. A few magic tricks, water, wine, fishies. Moon walkin' on the high seas. Bingo bango... Poof. Gone.
This is just a joke, right? If not according to whack jobs like you the earth should have been destroyed a 1000 times in the last 2000 years. Well, we're still here, so now what boogeyman?
Laughing at the boogeyman.
Trust me Mighty Hand, you would never find it out, if Jesus ever returned, life is too short.
Jebus lubs me
Dis I know
Cuz de bibu
Tells me so
Why do Adam and Eve have belly buttons?
Dinosaurs are inconvenient.
How come we only ever hear about baby Jebus and the bearded Jebus on the cross? What about the teenage Jebus, rolling cars and freebasing with his peeps?
Satan is powerful here this evening, but God is mightier.
I was a teenage Jeebus.
I wish Jebus would tell you to shut....up! I have to......look for.......a job, yes a job tommorrow so I would like....to rest if that is OK with you!
What a load of drivel.
Woe unto America if she votes wrongly in this election. Sandy was just a preview of coming attractions. Take heed!
Yah, cuz hurricanes never happened before there was a USA. It's all because of our elections!
it is because of our immorality, not our elections. We need someone who will chart a moral course for America. Else we are under God's judgment.
Isn't that cute, the toddler is having a tantrum and is threatening us with his invisible friend
The 'ol leading a horse to water and he won't drink solution?
Yeah, he and herbie are having blue ball problems.
There is no herbie.
Of course there's a herbie. He's the lame-azz representative of all you little trolls who live to jack off on here.
Has anyone ask either of the P candidates what their policies will be regarding outdated and antiquated fossil fuel usages in favor of less harsh energy needs such as solar and wind and hydrogen fuel systems? If asked will they stammer about and stagger onward to weasel their way from being put on the spot?
Well said, 'Gods' Oldest Dreamer'!!!
Yeah, sure. Well said. Not! Not shut your trap, I am trying....to....watch....my.....favorite,....show!
Huh? What I say? Am I being blamed? :-(
YES! you are being blamed. You are all being blamed because...I can't hear myself hear.
Me too Shake! Many times I can't hear myself listening to the thump thump thump and bang bang banging,,, :-)
Well I can see none of you Christian panty pissing closet perverts have the nad to say one goddamn word to me about your fairy tale skirt wearing ass buddy god. You are going to keep that cocksucker to yourself? Awww.
Repent or you will burn in hell for such blasphemy
The Mighty Hand of God Will Smite Thee "Repent or you will burn in hell for such blasphemy"
Haven't you noticed that threats from both you and your god are totally impotent?
Let's get back to Jesus – it DOES matter in the election. We want God's hand to guide us. Ask yourself: what would Jesus do? What would Mary do? What would friggin Joseph do?
Now THAT's funny Tom, unlike you.
If I was Joseph I'd kick Mary to the curb for being a cheatin' ass ho.
No doubt they would all ride donkeys. Are you willing to give up your gas guzzling car for a donkey?
Oooh, how I am wounded by thy drivel. Woe is me. Woe, woe, woe, feeeeeeelings!
By the way, who is "funny Tom?"
Commas are your friends, sweet cheeks.
Sligo, Jesus would turn the other cheek, Joseph would go somewhere and masterbate while Mary banged the blacksmith. Now could you please...shut...your....trap, I am trying to sleep!
Joseph would bang Mary again and tell everyone God did it....man why didn't I think of that one! I just thought the Devil made me do it....
You're ALL going to hell
How will we know when we get there? It can't be worse than here.
Not before I eat the Brood Witch sandwhich I'm not.
So much bantering about it makes one want to crow louder! Bawk Baaaawwwk Bawk!
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.