Truth as a Guiding Light

Column The Elgin Review

1.6.2021

January 6th on the church calendar is the Feast of the Epiphany. It’s the day that brings the season of Christmas to a close. It’s a day that celebrates the visit by Wise Men to the Holy Family. It’s a day for enlightenment, a day for remembering the wisdom of following a star—for staying true to our guiding light.  It’s a day to be reminded that Herod’s words were not to be trusted. Though he was King, the Wise Men did not acquiesce to his request to return to him with news of the newborn-King Jesus’ whereabouts. Herod falsely proclaimed that he too wished to pay tribute to the baby, but the Magi, with the help of angels who visited them in their dreams understood clearly Herod’s motives and went home by a different way.

This January 6th is not only Epiphany, it is the day the Congress of the United States of America gathers to ratify the election of Joseph R. Biden as the 46th President of the United States. Since the election in November sixty-one lawsuits have been filed on behalf of President Trump challenging the results in different states. Sixty of the suits have failed in courts of law presided over by justices appointed by both Republicans and Democrats. There have been no instances, verified by evidence in any court of law, of voter fraud on a level that would change the results of November’s election. In recent days our President has called for protests in the streets of Washington D.C. and has cajoled and pressured and leaned on Republican leaders across the country to do something to overturn the results of the election.

In the midst of this, we would do well to follow the lead of the Magi who made their way to visit baby Jesus; the one whom scriptures affirm is the way and the truth and the life. Truth matters. When they could tell that King Herod was not truthful with them, the Magi found a better way. It’s time for us, as a nation, no matter our political affiliations, no matter how we’ve voted in recent elections, to reclaim truthfulness as a guiding light. It’s time for us to find a better way. For those of us who are Christian, it’s time for us to reclaim what the eighth of our Ten Commandments teaches us, “Do not Bear False Witness.” It’s time for us to refuse to support the machinations of those whose methods and motives play loose with the truth.

Politicians and pundits lie freely on all sides of the political aisle in the press and in the media where there is no cost to them for misleading the public. Lies uttered to save one’s hide and to further one’s causes carry little cost in our culture. So, how do we know what’s true and what isn’t?

In our country one way to gauge the truth is in our courts of law. Lawyers and witnesses certainly lie in court, but if it is proven they have lied, they are held accountable—sentenced to prison, or stiff fines, or both. Lawyers proven to have lied in court lose their licenses to practice law in the future. And in sixty out of sixty-one cases, lawyers representing the President have failed to make their case, because there have been no cases to be made without perjuring themselves.

My prayer is that on January 6th our nation will not descend into violence because some of us have been misled by politicians who put their self-interest above the best interests of our nation. My prayer is that people from across the political spectrum will choose to follow the way of our Savior, which is the way of truth and that by doing so we might have life.