11.05.2008

Thoughts for the Day (Post Election)

OK...a friend of a friend posted this on facebook. I am reposting this here because it's exactly what I am feeling at the moment and I couldn't have written it any better myself, so why try....

I'm writing primarily to Christians.

I was thinking just today about all the expectations that people had of Jesus when he rode a donkey into Jerusalem. For many, the cry "Hosanna" (meaning "God save us") had very little to do with salvation from sin and self in the terms Christians are so familiar with, compared with how much it had to do with being freed from Roman rule.

Jesus came to bring a whole different kind of kingdom.

We have a new group of politicians in Washington now. I don't have a terrifically large amount of faith in any group of politicians. This new group will at some point fail even their most ardent supporters along the way. If we are expecting, especially as Christians, for some politicians, regardless of their stripe, to save us, and that if the wrong group of politicians is elected that somehow all is lost, then we are placing our faith in the wrong things.

The church, when it is at its best, has never depended on political power to thrive. Every time it has (think Constantine), it has ended up in a very ungodly place over the long term. Jesus spent precious little time being concerned with what the political rulers of the day thought or did. Ironically, those in the Jewish hierarchy who spent considerable time trying to maneuver amongst and manipulate the levers of political power- the Pharisees and Sadducees- were the only groups of people Jesus continually and consistently criticized.

The church is today at its strongest and most vibrant in some of the most politically-oppressed corners of the world. In its early, formative days, it was always on the fringe- a counterculture. It neither sought nor sat in the halls of power.

We should be thankful every day for the political system we have in America, and the freedoms we enjoy . But as much as those things are an American right, they are not necessarily a Christian "right." They are a gift.

How will we use that gift? Certainly, voting, in whatever way, is a civic responsibility. But if we were expecting Barack Obama or John McCain to change the world we find every day just beyond our door for the better, we are expecting the wrong things, and too much. It's not up to them to change our world. It's up to us to change our world. God working in us and through us to be sure, but it's up to us.

Tomorrow, whether the events of tonight were a loss or a victory for each of us, we will each open our front door and face a world- people, circumstances, situations, relationships, needs, hope, despair- that we have individually been given the opportunity and the chance to change. The president-elect can not affect each of our highly unique worlds nearly as well as we can, and with the power of God in us, we each have far more than even the greatest world ruler.

Either or any political party can only bring a new flavor of empire, just like the Romans did of old. We- you and I- have the chance to be part of bringing a kingdom, a new kind of kingdom, which both shatters and exceeds any empire.

No comments: