Monday, November 2, 2020

Vote. Pray. Trust.


The post was one of those rare breaths of fresh air on social media. Chad Bird's piece was a short, thoughtful essay reminding us that God is all-powerful, and trustworthy. The post was a beautiful reminder of a God who is sovereign over both the right-hand kingdom (the Kingdom of God) and the left-hand kingdom (the kingdom of earth.) 


The first comment after the post was a "yes, but" comment. It assured agreement but reminded us that we still need to remember that one party is evil and the world will collapse if the wrong party wins the election.


 Just say "no" to “yes, buts.” 


Either you believe that God is in charge, or you don't. Either you believe that He created the world and knows more about what the world needs than we do, or you don't. Either you trust Him to protect His people through all manner of turmoil, or you don't.


You can't have it both ways. We can't trust in God AND lean on our own understanding. (Prov. 3:5)


We must stop saying, "Yes, God is good, but did you read this article or listen to this political pundit?" We must stop worrying that God does not see all of the junk on our newsfeeds. He sees it and He knows that little of it is true. God knows all people involved. He knows the candidates' true motives from both sides, He knows the intent of people in both parties, and He loves us anyway.


Even though we are all sinners, He loves us anyway.


When God works in the left-hand kingdom, He does not need our votes. He asks us to vote because it is good to be obedient to the process, but He doesn't need us to save the world for Him. 


God is good. God is good all the time. And His goodness is especially evident when we humans are not good.


If we are concerned about what will happen after the election, it would be good to practice some self-examination. Ephesians 4: 25-32 has some convicting content. Here are the guidelines I need to hear:


Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. 


When it comes to posting about politics – DON’T! Such posts don't change any minds, are likely full of untrue statements, and only serve to push us away from each other. God created us to be in fellowship – not to be on a debate team.


Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. 


We can be angry about politics, but anger is useless and potentially harmful when we are angry with our friends or family about politics. It's not good vs. evil. If it is a human endeavor, it's not going to be good.


Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. 


As much as possible make sure your actions are good. Stay busy with the work God sets before you. There are people in your vicinity who need care and words and actions, reminding them of God's grace. Political posts don't change people; the Gospel changes people. Live the Gospel.


Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.  


If it isn't supportive, if it doesn't make things better, if it takes a side or tries to make a complicated issue simplistic, it is not helpful. Remember that name-calling and insults are signs of contempt, and contempt leaves no room for love. Live love.


And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 


Consider that you grieve the Holy Spirit when you pronounce one party more Christian than the other. Both parties are full of sinful, deluded, misguided humans. God is God, and we are not.  


Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4: 25-32


We are forgiven. The Saving Blood of Jesus covers our awful sins and nasty motivations. We belong to a powerful God who made us, loves us, and protects us. Through our Savior's actions and the Word and Sacraments, we are set apart by the Spirit.


We are not the people of "yes, but." We are the people of "yes, and."


Yes, I am a sinner, and I am forgiven.


Yes, the world is chaotic, and God is in charge.


Yes, I want to see a change in this world and God can make that happen.(Maybe He will use me to do it.)


Lord Jesus Christ, show me how to be part of the change You know the world needs. Not a political change, but a spiritual one. Not with hope placed in a politician, but with the assured hope of the resurrection. Amen. Amen. Amen.


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