The Closest I’m Coming to Politics

November 5, 2012

in In the Name of Love,The Good Word

I generally tend to avoid getting political in this space — and when I say I avoid it, I mean it’s practically banned from appearing here. Not that anyone else is posting here — so I suppose it’s more of a self-imposed ban. On the occasions that I’ve ventured out to make a political statement here or there, I’ve usually caused offense, and decided that that wasn’t really in line with the purpose of me writing here.

Because I tell you what. I don’t mind offending you, but I want you to be offended in a way that will challenge you to get closer to Jesus. To ask questions about what you believe and how you’re living your life and spending your cash and raising your children and loving your husband and neighbor and the strangers that have been placed on your path. Jesus didn’t back down from causing offense. Even in my own mind, I can still struggle to reconcile some of His words and actions — and they can be downright offensive to me.

I’d like to just say this clearly — the reason I choose not to speak about politics here is not because I don’t think it matters. I most certainly do think it matters, and if you, dear reader, live in a country that provides you with opportunities to participate in the public political arena, by all means, please prayerfully head to the ballot box. Participate. Exercise your right to vote and do your homework so that you’re taking that right seriously.

The reason I choose not to speak about politics here is because I consistently have a sense that the things I am supposed to be writing about pertain to a different kind of Kingdom — the Kingdom of God. And it was a welcome and beautiful reminder, words that came from the pulpit at my church this Sunday:

The Kingdom of God is not a political party.

Amen, amen, amen.

With that being said, I want to encourage you to take seriously the privilege of voting, but do so with the remembrance that there is only one Kingdom that is going to last forever. Yes, I believe we should work together to govern ourselves well. Yes, I believe we should think long and hard about the decisions we make and how they will affect our children, their children, and their children.

But at the end of the day — do not let the outcome of this election or any other convince you that your role in your community has changed. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, your calling is still the same, no matter who is in the Oval Office. You are called to love God and to love the people around you. You’re called to respect your leaders and to pray for them. You are called to care for the widow and the orphan — the poor and the less fortunate.

As long as you have breath in your lungs, you are called (commanded, in fact) to share the Good News, to¬†live out the Good News that the Savior of the world, who was never elected and never needed to be, and who absolutely refuted the idea that He ought to be an earthly King, right when everyone else thought that was the plan all along — that Savior has come, has lived, has died, and lives again, and He is the hope — the only true hope — our world should ever put our faith in.

Please remember this, no matter the outcome of a bunch of votes being cast on a Tuesday :: the Kingdom of God always starts as a seed. It’s a mustard seed of mountain-moving faith. It’s that little bit of leaven, measured into the flour, which will leaven the whole loaf. It was a motley crew of twelve disciples — enough to turn the world upside down. It was the very seed of God taking root in the womb of a virgin that gave birth to the One who would absolutely, irrevocably change the world.

And now? You are the mustard seed and the leaven, the salt and the light — blessed with the privilege of engaging with the world around you to advance the Kingdom of God. With thanks to my friend Meg for putting it very well:

We can change the world, no matter who is in office.

The question remains, today, tomorrow and the day after: Will we?

xCC

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Emilie Cooper November 5, 2012 at 9:14 pm

As my friends the Avett Brothers would say, “Your life doesn’t change by the man that’s elected.” Simply waiting on the day when we are under an everlasting monarchy uninterrupted by democracy, tyrrany, socialism, communism, or what have you. But until that day I will be sending off my vote with a prayer.

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