Wednesday, October 12, 2016
the 2016 presidential election: what would Jesus do?
there's no man or, for that matter, woman, who is going to save our country.
no sirree bob.
with some strange unanimity, we shake our heads knowing the presidential race of 2016 is more in line with all things ridiculous, than with anything close to restorative or redemptive.
regardless of our favorite party or politician, we shuffle around in heavy cloaks of national embarrassment.
and where that seems terribly bleak and beyond worrisome, i'd like to argue that, perhaps, even in this knowledge, it might be possible to find a shred of blessing. because the truth is, our country's hope has never been in a human. our country's salvation has never been in a process, a policy or a program.
not even in our choice of party.
sorry, but no.
it's only in Jesus.
he doesn't push propaganda, but offers peace.
he doesn't promise an economic plan, but assures an eternal one.
he doesn't pander for our votes, but desires our victory.
in the past few weeks i've read one comment after another purporting what Christians should or shouldn't do in this election. mostly, i find myself nauseous when reading the responses: some almost claiming that Jesus, of course, would be in full support of their party and its practices.
i have to tell you, i don't think there's much about any of these parties, at this point, which Jesus would get behind.
but you wanna know what Jesus would do?
it's likely Jesus would invite himself to donald's house for dinner and he would speak words of healing to hillary over a cup of water at the city well ... and he would love them. he'd wash their feet, he'd hold their hands, and he'd even die on a cross for them. yes, even them. because he loves -- not what they've done, not what they do, certainly not what they say they are going to do. but, oh, how he loves them. anyway.
because he loves people. broken people. people like them. people like you. people like me.
all of us who mess up every single stinking day of our lives. he loves us. anyway.
when we aren't sure how to handle ourselves in this time of election, maybe we could think about how Jesus handled Himself when He left the throne room of heaven and exchanged it for the throngs of (us) sinners here on earth.
how did He come?
he came humble. born in a manger and raised by carpenter. Jesus rode in on a donkey (but, please let's not read too much into that donkey thing, okay)? he walked in dusty sandals on dirty streets. he fellowshipped with those on the fringe. he called on criminals, sat with sinners and lunched with the tax collectors. his platform wasn't a popularity contest, but a person committed to people.
he came as human. "who though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men." (philippians 2:6) though Jesus was God's Son, he came born to ordinary-mary and every-day-joseph not to parade as majesty, but to put on the very flesh of common-man himself.
he came for the unhealthy. over and over again we see how Jesus spent His time not with those who had it all together, but with those who were mostly falling apart. he didn't align himself with the pharisees or the sadduccees or with a bunch of garbled policies, but with new mercies. mercy for real, broken, messed up people. i know it is sometimes hard to understand, but Jesus came for the sinner, not for the saint. "Jesus said to them, "it is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." mark 2:17
he came as hope. and isn't that what we all want? no matter our party or our politics, we all, each one of us, desire hope. in fact, it's why our nation is so unanimously devastated in this election season. clearly, there's no one running who is able to provide a whole lot of hope. but, dear ones, that's when we stop looking to THEM and start believing in HIM. "hope in the Lord! for with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with him is plentiful redemption." psalm 130:7 i love that word - plentiful - when we're all looking for just a smidge of redemption and hope from this race, Jesus is offering us plenty.
i know november is looming. heck, election day actually falls on my 48th birthday -- talk about depressing! for the past several months i haven't been able to think about my vote without feeling a little sick to my stomach.
and here we are less than a month away.
it sure feels like an all-time low for our country, doesn't it? but maybe there's something good in this new kind of "low." prophetically, isaiah 5 says this about what can happen when we hit rock bottom (and i have to think for our nation, we are pretty darn close to that bottom): "so people will be brought low and everyone humbled, the eyes of the arrogant humbled. but the Lord Almighty will be exalted by his justice, the holy God will be proved holy by his righteous acts. ... to those who say, "Let God hurry: let him hasten his work so we may see it. the plan of the Holy one of Israel -- let it approach, let it come into view, so we may know it... woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight." sounds kind of familiar, doesn't it? (go read all of isaiah chapter 5 if you get a chance).
but, wait a minute, jody, at the beginning of this post you tossed out the word "blessing."
where possibly can there be any sort of blessing in this most embarrassing debacle?
so glad you asked.
here's the deal: if this election shows us our need for something more than our country or our campaigns or our cooked-up-versions-of-ourselves can provide --- than yes, that's blessing. that's seeing the problem, the need, the impending disaster of mankind. that's showing us our utter and complete hopelessness.
and that's exactly why Jesus came.
he came to fill that hole in our broken humanity ---
not as a policymaker, but as a peacemaker.
not as one leveraging his position, but as loving his people.
not as a willful charlatan, but as a willing sacrifice.
i know at the end of the day someone will have to show up in the oval office and see to the business of running this country. i am fully aware it's not an issue we can choose to ignore. and, honestly, i don't know what to do about that. but what i do know is that perhaps this very election will be the thing which will make clear to us another issue which we also can't afford to ignore. an issue of even greater importance --- not who is living in the white house, but who is alive in our heart.
just something to think about.
Posted by jodymcnatt