Unless you’ve lost your smart phone, don’t have a television set, and basically live in a cave in a remote wilderness, you are exposed daily, multiplied times over, to the presidential campaign that will conclude with an election on Nov. 6. The other night, while watching a one-hour TV program here in the Denver area, I counted more than a dozen political ads almost equally divided among the two primary parties. And I confess that I’m both fed up and fired up about it!
I’m fed up because these ads are so obnoxiously redundant in their tone and message. But I’m fired up because, at least to me, despite the rhetoric of politicians, there’s only one message that can ever really result in true and lasting change, not just for the better, but for the best, and that’s the Good News of Jesus Christ!
I’m fed up because how many of these political attempts at securing my vote with a “he said but I say” script do I really need to see in a given hour when I just want to enjoy some relaxation time in front of the TV? I’m fired up because even though it’s hard to trust anything a politician may say, I can and do trust in the words of Jesus!
I’m fed up because all this political platforming and posturing seems to do is generate divisiveness and discord. I’m fired up because the true understanding and facilitation of Jesus’ leadership, and hence being led by the Spirit, is a promotion of the equal value of every person and achieving oneness and unity.
I’m fed up because, in my opinion, all politicians seem to do is make excuse, blame the other party, and act irresponsibly; not all, but it does seem like too many. I’m fired up because Jesus takes my excuses, blame-game, and irresponsibility, offers me forgiveness through the Cross, and empowers me to live with graciousness and accountability.
I’m fed up because the “Church” gets caught up in politics and often strongly suggests that God is a Democrat or God is a Republican! Seriously?? This is one that really frustrates me! I’m fired up because God is neither! God is not “FOR” any party. God is “FOR” everyone and invites us, NOT to join a political party, but to become a respected part of his Family!
I’m fed up because politics and the pundits with their respective agendas that are so intensely contested, attempt to convince us that they have our best interests in mind and only “they” can lead us into the “promised land!” I’m fired up because Jesus actually DID have my best interest in mind… and whether you are a “woman caught in adultery”, a “teacher on a journey for spiritual truth (Nicodemus)”, a “thief on a cross”, or any number of other types of people that Jesus encountered who were either condemned in their own minds or condemned by others- especially the religious, Jesus proclaimed and proved that he can and does offer the best Way, the best Trust, and the best Life for us to follow and pursue!
So, hey, I’m NOT suggesting we should remove ourselves from the political fray, not vote (we should), or not be engaged in the tension that exists in our society and surfaces so intensely every four years as we consider who will become our next president. Instead, I’m strongly suggesting we get more involved! That’s right- MORE, but not in terms of “politics!” And certainly not less connected by sequestering ourselves in our own little spiritual experience! As followers of Christ, let’s engage where it matters most- with the people we share life with every day; and if we “campaign” for anything, let it be all about truly promoting the needs of others more than our own. After all, there’s only one “platform” that really matters- “Love God with everything and love others as yourself” (Matt. 22:37-39)