During this election season, it is good to be reminded that our hope is not in the politics of Thomas Jefferson, born out of the age of Enlightenment. Our hope is in the politics of Jesus, born out of the age of Easter. Yes, our hope is in a different kind of politics.
This provides for us a sure foundation; something strong, stable and secure. We do not have to be blown about by the winds of rhetoric, anger, and scapegoating offered up by the donkeys and elephants. We vote for the Lamb. He’s always faithful. He completes the initiatives He starts. His promises never fade away. Our foundation is secure because our hope is in a different kind of politics.
But, that’s not where it ends. His strong foundation gives us a place to collect ourselves and then go into the world as the Republic of God. How do we go into the world? The same way Jesus came into the world, giving grace to the powerless and speaking truth to the powerful.
With Jesus, the powerless found a voice. Think about it, He was from the wrong side of Galilee, had little or no formal training, had very little financial means, was the wrong color of skin and had a constituency of all the wrong people. The constituency proves the point, I think, for they were made up of the overlooked gender, the hated Samaritans, soldiers from the occupying military, a handful of ragtag disciples, the formerly blind, leprous and even dead. This is not an inspiring political party. Whatever you have heard about God, either from the culture you live in, the church you’ve attended or that little voice inside of your heart, please know… God has a special place in His heart for those who are marginalized. If you ever doubt that, just look at Jesus. He spoke grace to the powerless.
Meanwhile, He also spoke truth to power. It was, of course, what wound up getting Him killed. The economic forces of Herod and the religious forces of Caiaphas joined up with Caesar’s superpower, in Pontius Pilate, and silenced the voice of Jesus. We cannot overlook what actually took place in the trial and His sentencing… it was, so to speak, the oldest deceit in the book… the superpower, motivated by self-preservation, used death to snuff out the voice of Jesus, who was the representative of the powerless. (Though you could say it the other way around too for truly, death used the superpower.)
I love the actions of Jesus. Who else has ever handed out grace and truth like this? Most of us recognize the grace-part. Many bristle at the truth-part, though. I think this is so for a variety of reasons that are beyond the scope of this post, but let me just make a couple of observations.
First, our culture, in general, is lazy about discerning truth. Many people hide beyond a little philosophical outlook that says, there is no truth. We’ve all heard it said… all religions are the same, there is no absolute truth, and Christians are oppressive by suggesting that Jesus was the truth. But, do you see the problem with this argument? You’re saying your truth, is that there is no truth. It doesn’t make sense. One cannot say that the truth is there is no truth. That would make your truth, untruthful! That would make you oppressive. No, there is truth. We just have to look, test, see, listen and experiment. I promise you, if you keep looking at Jesus, He’ll show you truth.
Secondly, the reason behind why I think we’re lazy with the truth… well, frankly, I don’t think many of us really want to know truth. We’ve fabricated our own little life, and honestly, we’d rather not have to rethink and rebuild our little construct. We would rather not serve anything other than ourselves. We are all like Pontius Pilate in this respect… we are all motivated by power, position and self-preservation. In this way, we see how the Bible can suggest that all were responsible for the death of Jesus. In this way, we are all like superpowers. We want our own thing. But, Jesus spoke truth to power. He said “our own thing” is not what will save us, or our world. He showed us the only way of salvation… He showed us it was by dying.
And so God, full of grace for the powerless (for truly we are all powerless whether we know it or not) died for us and with us to defeat the powers of the world.
This was the politics of Jesus.
It’s our politics too.
The political party of Jesus is called to emulate His actions… to die with Him for others. The Republic of God (i.e., the Church) lives to give grace to those who need it and speak truth to power. You have a part to play. What do you think it is? How can you give grace and truth today? What dream has God captured your heart with that will wind up serving others? Are you building your own thing or God’s thing? Are you living for yourself or others? All the other “candidates” will tell you to live for yourself, but I vote Jesus for President. I like his foreign policy, his domestic policy (and His insurance policy). I like his election points and his stump speech. I love how hard He’s campaigned for me. I recognize in the Lamb, the hope of the world. I vote Jesus for President. I belong to the Republic of God. Our hope is in a different kind of politics.