Last year I began a blog loosely talking about politics. I could not have been more wrong about my convictions and I admit it. I got caught up in the political division and rhetoric spewed around this country as well as the world. I heard one influential person say “we have not been this divided since the Civil War!”Perhaps you got caught up in the rhetoric too, and now, late in this election season, we are left wondering, “How did we get so divided? How did our world become so broken?” The economic numbers are up, crime down and yet there is a perception of severe brokenness.
We forgot who we were. Jesus reminds us in Mark 12:30-31, “… you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”Be honest, is loving God and others our greatest passion? Do we put God and others first? Where does that leave our homes, church, family, friends, country…well the list goes on of what we value.
We even debate who is the greatest among us? Jesus would tell us, not any government leader, famous entertainer nor sports giant, but rather the one among us who serves others is the greatest (Luke 9:48). Jesus goes on to describe what serving those in need looks like in the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37), which is one of his most enduring gospel stories.
Who have we been listening to that we have steered so far off course? Are we spending too much time listing to Satan instead of God? Satan is a master at using folks to draw us away from the one true King. There is no president, governor, king or chancellor on earth that has the power, love and compassion that Christ Jesus has for each of us. We know this.
So, what happened? We lost sight of the stars, we could not find the land, our mast fell over, our rudder fell off and we became adrift. It’s time to pick up a paddle and get back on the right path with Jesus as our standard bearer.
Wait a minute, does that mean voting is not important, nor who is at the helm of our state or nation? Of course not. Moses reminded us in Deuteronomy 1:13, “Choose for each of your tribes, [individuals] who are wise, discerning, and reputable to be your leaders.” Do your homework, look at the facts instead of the emotional and often deceitful advertisers. If you go online, go to websites that you trust. One of my favorites is the League of Women Voters.
Then vote and support your leaders, even if your candidate does not win. Let them govern and pray without ceasing for them. If we want them to have moral, Christian hearts we must pray for God to provide what we cannot do for ourselves. But remember this: not one of them is the Messiah. Don’t make them greater than they are. Ask yourself this; Am I putting them on a pedestal that they do not deserve?
Not unlike Israel, our more modern history depicts world leaders that tried to destroy people of faith, churches and movements, over the last few hundred years. Not one succeeded. There are more churches and people of faith in Russia, African countries and Cuba than ever before. Oppressive societies have tried their best to push Jesus from their midst and failed. What does this tell us about the limited power of Satan’s intervention in human affairs? Do not be afraid and do not give up hope.
“When I hang out with Jesus, I find that he is far less partisan than I thought he was. He lived in the middle…the key is knowing when to draw lines and when to build bridges. Jesus drew lines, and they were clear, absolute, and hard. I knew that. But he also crossed every one of those lines and loved people on the other side.” (Steve Brown, What Was I thinking?)
Love God…love each other…break bread together…all else is just not that important.