(pic of Palin, McCain, Biden, Obama, in that order)
Do you feel the draw? Are the presidential candidates capturing your attention? Have you watched the conventions?
How do you lean? Are you a staunch Democrat, Republican or Independent? Are you a wait and see sort or was your mind made up before things even got underway? Were you glued to the tube during the convention speeches, hoping to hear something that would inspire you, inspire the country? Did you dance during the musical interludes? (Boy, Republicans sure can’t dance! :-)
“Change” seems to be the big theme with both candidates and their running mates. Promised change…hmmm, that’s about as old as the hills (not the Hills [our surname], but the hills, friends). The candidates both inspired, didn’t they? You could see hope on the faces of the people in the audience, maybe you even felt it rise in your own heart. Are you gung-ho, pumped up, ready to follow where they lead? Do you hear yourself saying, “Finally, someone ‘gets it’, can articulate it, inspire it in others, and bring it about!”?
Hmmm…yeah, I had similar feelings surface myself. Hearing great speakers wield powerful rhetoric does invoke hope–throughout time, it always has. Sometimes for the better (thanks old Abe), sometimes for great evil (sorry Hitler, you’re the no brainer pick here). How do we know for sure? What do we gauge our judgment on? I can’t speak for you, but I’ve found I have to step back and get objective. Being caught up in powerful rhetoric and group think leads us to move unreflectively, unconsciously…leaves us open to moving in ways with the masses that perpetrate great harm.
I’ve wondered which convention Jesus, if walking the planet in the flesh, would attend. As I understand Him, I would say He would opt out completely. Yes, both parties hold strong Christian values (do think Jesus smiles at the times they get it right), but let’s face it, neither one is about Him, the only One who can bring real change, change of the heart.
The way I read the Bible, it seems Jesus didn’t give political leaders or political power a second thought. He said, basically, do what you gotta do for the authorities (i.e. pay taxes), but focus on God alone, give your heart, place your hope in Him alone (“Render to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s” Matthew 22:21). In the temptation in the desert, satan offers Jesus all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor if He just would bow down and worship him, satan (does this mean satan has the governments of the world under thumb? hmmm, food for thought, there). Jesus replies, “Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.” (Matt. 4:10, emphasis added is mine).
Well, folks, we only have so much time and energy, don’t we? Where our heart is will be revealed in how we spend that time and energy. Do we actually believe that what Jesus offers is better, more powerful, more life-changing than what any group of politicians can offer? If so, then we’re tuned in to His will for us and to being used by Him wherever we are…could His will for us include political activity? For some ‘yes’, for some ‘no’. If ‘yes’, the reason we take part has to be because He calls us. Our allegiance shouldn’t be to any political party, political leader or even to any country, our allegiance should be to the One we center our eyes on, center our life on, the only One we see. In Him, we can move consciously, powerfully, and with a clear understanding of where He wants us at any given time. We will not be swayed by what others think, by what is perceived as ‘right’ or politically correct, we will be agents of change for the Kingdom of God…it’ll all be about Him.
What if ‘no’? If we’re not called to political activity, then God has other use for our time and energy. We may see things differently than the rest of the populace, see that what happens politically does influence and affect the masses, but that true change, the healing of hearts, of the world, is only found in Him, not in world systems or governments. Governments come and go, nations rise and fall, world powers will always jockey for clout, but God is, forever is, and He is the only one who has the power to save us from ourselves and transform us into His likeness so others can be saved and healed too.
His Kingdom, His Government needs to be our focus…we’re the bringers of it, the ones it manifests itself through. Power of God is other than political power, it is spiritual in nature and life-giving by definition…like real Life, the kind that blows our minds and wakes us from the dead, that uncovers the veiled reality of the world around us. In as much as the world finds Him, is in as much as the peoples of the world will change, truly change.
If we allow ourselves to be agents of Change, let Him have His way with us, we’ll see how as we are healed, circumstances and people around us will change…Give it a shot: promise you’ll be blown away…promise you’ll know real Hope, the kind that always springs eternal…the kind that is contagious, that moves others toward Him and invites them to the join the Kingdom.
Been to a Kingdom Convention lately? Oh, c’mon, hope so…if it doesn’t feel like a Kingdom Convention at your church’s worship, then you may need to find a church that does inspire Hope, Transformation and Love, or be an agent of Change in the one you attend. Thankfully, we don’t have to wear funny hats and lots of buttons to be Kingdom agents or create artificial hype or plant teleprompters everywhere…no, seems to me, we just have to worship Him, surrender to Him and be empowered by the Holy Spirit. Oh, and when He speaks, we can be sure things shift, things change, for He is THE Agent of Change.