I’m sure like me you are excited that we will no longer be inundated with political advertisements at every turn. Aren’t you glad you don’t live in Louisiana? They are still in the midst of the election with a runoff still ahead.
Like every election there are winners and losers, and renewed hope that the dynamic will improve the chances that our governing officials will serve with the best intentions and that the months and years ahead will see positive progress for our communities and state, our nation and our world.
This past Sunday the message from 1 Peter 2:13-17 centered on our engagement and involvement with our civil authorities, and considered a few important moral issues that Scripture speaks to and that Christians and the church at times are compelled to speak to as well. It’s been that way since the earliest times of Bible history—including the life of Abraham; Moses and the theocracy of the Jews; prophets and kings throughout OT history; the life and teaching of Christ; the early church.
This coming Sunday I will speak from the same passage, reminding us to be submissive and respectful of our civil authorities.
Though there are lots of disagreements about the involvement of Christians and the church in some of these areas, one thing is certain. There is one activity we all agree on and in which we all must participate.
Hear these words again from the apostle Paul to his young protégé Timothy, who was to pass the teaching along to the people of the church in Ephesus and beyond.
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time. (1 Tim. 2:1-6)
Chances are you feel really good after the election this week. Or really bad. Or not any different at all. The truth is, in spite of the joy we feel in knowing that we are out of the campaign season, we also know that we are only out of the campaign season for a while. We do get a reprieve from the ads, but we’ll see them again. And in the back of our minds we know that however we feel about this election, we may feel exactly the opposite about the next one.
And so we pray. But not just for our political climate. Did you see the deeper reason behind those prayers in 1 Tim. 2? As important and beneficial as it is, we do not pray just so that we will live in lands that are characterized by justice and peace. We pray that we might have an environment here and around the world that will enable us to be better able to share the gospel.
Because like our God, we want all people to be saved, and to come to a knowledge of the one mediator between them and their God—the Savior, Christ Jesus.
That is our prayer.