Is anyone else weary of the election?
I am, and I’ve never been so thankful that we don’t have cable TV
I can’t think of an election in my lifetime that elicited so many emotions in me. I’ve felt frustration, despair, anger, confusion, grief, resignation, sadness and a smidge of fear.
I’m plumb wore out
What I haven’t felt is excitement. I’ve reached a place of peace about whomever is eventually elected by the electoral college in December. But I’d be lying if I said I was excited about either one.
As a believer I want to project faith not despair. My primary citizenship is eternal, ruled by the King who died for me. His country will be just, perfect, peaceful, unified, holy, righteous and healing because Jesus bought those things with his life.
I’ve been reading through the Bible this year for the first time in 51 yrs of faith – call me a late bloomer. My mother-in-law used to read through hers at least twice a year, and in the KJV no less! If it hadn’t been for my YouVersion app (and quarantine) I don’t think I could have done it.
This morning’s reading was the chapter in Hebrews that we know as the Faith Chapter. The author describes many of the giants of the Christian faith. Enoch, Noah, Jacob, Issac, Abraham and my favorite, Sarah. Here’s how it opens:
“The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see.” (MSG)
Political predictions abound in the Christian world. Looking ahead to what we can’t see and declaring that something is going to happen isn’t necessarily prophetic, it’s human. But what Hebrews 11 so distinctly points out is that faith isn’t about what we can see or predict, instead it’s about what we can’t see or predict…(2020 anyone?)
Vs 8-10 “By an act of faith, Abraham said yes to God’s call to travel to an unknown place that would become his home. When he left he had no idea where he was going. By an act of faith he lived in the country promised to him, lived as a stranger camping in tents…Abraham did it by keeping his eye on an unseen city with real, eternal foundations – the city designed and built by God” (MSG)
“A city designed and built by God” Wow, can’t wrap my brain around it. However, keeping my eyes on that future city reminds me that my allegiance is to a King, not an elected official. There is no democracy in a Kingdom, we don’t get a vote. History has NO perfect Kings so I have to have faith that Jesus will rule in a way I’ve never seen.
There’s the challenge
We were talking to a young couple in our small group this week about eternity and I pointed out that after we accept Jesus, our life is one long continuous eternal life. We simply trade our bodies for new ones when we die.
I’ll take that new body now, thank you very much!
Vs 13 “Each one of these people died not yet having in hand what was promised. How did they do it? They saw it way off in the distance, waved their greeting and accepted the fact that they were transients in their world. People who live this way, make it plain that they are looking for their true home...they were after a far better country – heaven country”
Being American, having a fully American identity has a permanency to it. I can picture my American identity. Picturing myself as transient? Not so much. I’m at home in America. It’s all I know. But faith requires me to imagine a different reality. A future one that is alien and possibly even unimaginable to my human mind. Just as Abraham couldn’t imagine being the father of millions I can’t imagine the country I will eventually live in. Faith also asks me to accept that,
America will never be heaven
It’s not simply important, but mandatory that we represent the eternal King to a hurting world. We need to do what is within our power to influence this culture for the eternal values that will eventually rule it. Yet we also have to accept that laws and leaders can only restrict people’s behavior, they can’t change hearts and minds. Only Jesus can do that. By keeping our primary allegiance to the King and his eternal kingdom, we offer more to society than politics ever can.
I long for a society that is just, fair, loving, righteous, kind and merciful. All the things God is. I want to demonstrate to the unbelieving world that God is worthy of my allegiance despite the ugliness that exists in society. In America I have the amazing privilege of voicing my hopes through voting. But when I place as much emphasis on voting as I do prayer, living rightly, sharing Jesus with the hurting world, and especially living in unity with my fellow believers, I diminish that message.
After a history of the giants, the end of the chapter reads this way,
39-40 “Not one of these people, even though their lives of faith were exemplary, got their hands on what was promised. God had a better plan for us; that their faith and ours would come together to make one completed whole, their lives of faith not complete apart from ours.”
May my faith carry me to live with them forever