In case you haven’t been reminded by the daily news headlines, this is a big election year. As the political primaries wind down, the country’s focus shifts toward the two major party conventions this summer. Each candidate claims to have the power to make our country better. They try to win our votes by telling us how electing them will improve our individual lives. We all have opinions about who has the best platform to execute the responsibilities of the president. We would be foolish, however, to think that placing all of our hope in any one person or party platform will somehow make our lives infinitely better.
As people of the gospel, our allegiance and hope should solely rest in the hands of Jesus Christ. That does not negate our political influence or our responsibility to engage the political system. At the end of the election season, however, Christ will still be king. No president we elect can contradict that truth.
Today’s Scripture reports the conflict that arises in Thessalonica when Christ’s followers hail Jesus, and not Caesar, as king. Disciples of every age must confront the temptation to put our hope in earthly kings. While effective political leadership is important because it determines the future of many, Scripture calls us to acknowledge the place of earthly authorities but devote all that we have to the living God. While the authorities of this world will fade away as Caesar did, God, our creator, will far outlast all earthly kingdoms.
What unfair expectations do I have of my political leaders that I should reserve for God alone?
Everlasting God, help me to see that your kingdom is eternally important, and help me to devote my full allegiance to you. Amen.