Religion. Politics. Two subjects to avoid in polite company. Everyone knows this. And yet when reminded of this adage, my pastor says “Phooey!”
Ok, he didn’t literally say that on Sunday, but he might as well.
Every election season, when we all start acting like a bunch of crazed, angry, fearful, and impolite humans, Pastor Robert starts preaching on religion and politics:
“We have the incredible privilege in this country to vote. As your pastor I hope that every single one of you is registered to vote and will vote… I hope that all of us bare the burden of people who have gone before us. They have faced war and water hoses so that we could vote.”
All good so far. Facebook is telling me to vote. My pastor is telling me to vote. Same message inside and outside the church. Voting is what good citizens of America and the Kingdom of Heaven do. Got it.
“But here’s where we need to be careful church. Sometimes we Christian start to think that the way you change the world is through your vote… and we start to elevate that up so high and we miss out. There is an even greater way to change this world. This is an even greater way to bring about transformation in human life and society.”
Ok, that is definitely not what the political ads on Facebook are telling me. If I want transformation and change, they say I should vote. And if I want preservation and safeguarding, then I should also vote. Voting is how we protect or reverse the course of our country, right?
He continues: “Have you ever thought about it: how did Christians transform the world when they couldn’t vote?”
Wait, what? When was that?
“We’re among the few Christians across the last couple of thousand years who could actually cast a ballot. The majority of followers of Jesus tried to transform their society but they could not elect their officials.”
Oh. I hadn’t thought about that.
“For the Christians in Galatia, Caesar was in charge. They couldn’t vote him in; they couldn’t vote him out… They stepped into a world in which
women were owned,
children were cheap labor,
poverty was the lot of the majority,
slavery was assumed,
the government was oppressive,
religion was incarcerating.
But by the time they lived their lives they turned their world upside down. How did they do it? What motivated them to make change in their world?”
Preach pastor, preach!
“The same thing that motivated God.
John 3:16 For God so loved, unconditionally.
That’s what changed everything.”
Oh yes, that is what changed, is changing, and will change everything.
We need to hear this for the counting has started and it grows louder.
Days until the election.
Dollars raised and spent.
Percentage points trailing.
Lead us on Pastor Robert. With your sermon series “The Only Thing That Counts,” stand and remind us sheep what counts in God’s kingdom.
May I have ears that hear,
eyes that see,
and a heart that responds.