Read Matthew 23:1-12.

I have a confession to make. I care about the outcome of the upcoming election.

Apparently, a lot of other people do too. With two days to go before the election, all indications are that there will be record turnout, millions of new voters, breathless anticipation of the result. There will be rejoicing and despairing—and maybe violence and rioting. Stores are boarding up windows just in case.

People on both sides of the aisle fear for the future of the country. Politics has become a gladiator sport—mere victory is not enough to satisfy. We want blood.

The Pharisees have let themselves get to the point where they want to have the son of God put to death. People are saying that it could never happen here. But is it really that crazy?

Jesus says: “beware.” Beware of the leaders of your own tribe. They are hypocrites. They are doing what they do and saying what they say to be seen, to gain respect or power or money. Their attitude is contagious—wear your mask. Wash your hands. Keep your distance.

You are to be loyal to no political leader other than God himself.

You are to learn from no teacher apart from the Word of God.

You are to be filled with no passion alongside the Love of the Holy Spirit.

Here is how you can tell if one is great among you: she forgets herself and considers you. He serves not his own interests but yours. And you are to serve the interests of others. Vote—but vote for the good of other people, not your own personal gain.

I bolster my faith: God is in control.

I encourage gratitude by remembering God’s past faithfulness.

I calm myself so that I may know.

I notice the glory of the Lord in all that has been created.

I feel my ears tingle at hearing what God has done.

I admire the beauty of Jesus’ life.

I contemplate God’s power, his goodness, his wisdom, his love.

I rejoice.

I am at peace. (For a moment.)

Harry Plantinga

Harry Plantinga is a professor of computer science at Calvin University and the director of and