A national election is almost upon us – as we in Virginia well know, living in a “swing state” with its extra political mailings, phone call surveys, and nearby visits by candidates!
My prayer for Trissels during this political season is that we would be far more animated and impassioned about Jesus than about any of the political candidates.
Yes, our votes do matter. It’s best for our community, state, and nation when we elect officials who care deeply about abortion, marriage, economic justice, creation care, and peacemaking – values revealed in the Bible, values which move a nation and its citizens toward wholeness and well-being.
But Jesus matters far more! As one Mennonite pastor wrote, “Real power in this world – the power to save, to transform, to change – ultimately rests not in political parties or presidents or protests but in the life, the death and the resurrection of Jesus” (Mark Schloneger at electiondaycommunion.org).
Many of us think, “Well, if we can vote our guy in, things will be okay.” In so doing we are falling for what Chuck Colson called “the political illusion” which is “the notion that human nature can be perfected by government; that a new Jerusalem, so to speak, can be built using the tools of politics; and that politics is all that matters.” We cannot turn to our government to solve our problems. But there is One we can turn to! Our Mennonite Church USA leaders remind us that “Scripture speaks pointedly to us: Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save (Psalm 146:3). This is a time to deepen our allegiance to Jesus, our Lord and Savior” (mennoniteusa.org).
This year – as every election, I guess – both presidential candidates are flawed. Maybe that helps us remember to not put our hope and trust in government.
Anytime we are filled with anxiety or anger about a flawed politician or governmental process, let’s meet it with prayer. Maybe even prayer and fasting. Let’s consciously turn toward God our Savior.