The endless election wilderness

tp-shovelWill the Presidential election season ever end?  We’re so far into this wilderness that it seems to be without beginning or end – a demonic mockery of the true God.

And like the evil powers portrayed in The Revelation, it manages to seduce many disciples of Jesus.  So many words flow in from left and right trying to explain which candidate is God’s choice and which one followers of Jesus must support to prove that they are his true disciples.

I love the passage in the third chapter of Luke’s Gospel, in which the great and powerful are named in all of their entitled glory,

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas…

except it turns out that what is essential and most powerful is not with them, but with some “John Doe” nobody out in the sticks,

…the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness. (Luke 3:1-2 ESV)

The word of God isn’t with this or that candidate or movement.  It’s still with the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church, whenever a group of faithful believers gathers to hear that word, baptize others into Christ and proclaim his sacrificial death by sharing Holy Communion until he comes again.  John and Judy, children of somebody something, still out in the wilderness but blessed with what is essential and eternal for the whole creation.

The New Testament political agenda is not elaborate.  A specific command was in the Revised Common Lectionary assignments this past Sunday,

First of all, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity. This is right and is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God; there is also one mediator between God and humankind,Christ Jesus, himself human, who gave himself a ransom for all — this was attested at the right time. For this I was appointed a herald and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.  (I Timothy 2:1-7)

That’s it.  Pray for the high and mighty of this world to be well and chill out so that we (Christ’s followers) have the peace and freedom to preach and teach Jesus so that others receive the life he’s come into the world to give.

I will say that it is salutary to pray for public officials by name.  You’re sure to wind up praying for someone who rubs you the wrong way.  Even municipal politics produces its share of conflict, so pray for your local officials, state and federal government, courts, the whole lot.  I confess, I find it hard to pray for “agencies” (bureaucracies) because they seem like just the kind of meddlers that like to deprive people of “quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity.”  But pray I do… like the apostle says, to do so is “right and acceptable in the sight of God.”

Like John, son of Zechariah, in the wilderness.

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