“Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven; “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might. He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding; he reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with him.” (Daniel 2:19–22 ESV)
This passage from Daniel got me thinking about politics and what is really important. Where is my ultimate hope and trust? To say that this political cycle in the United States of America in 2016 is unique from previous years is an understatement. A self-proclaimed socialist is a prime candidate. Another well-known candidate is under threat of federal indictment. There are establishment and anti-establishment candidates, and a billionaire media personality is dominating the election. It appears to many to be a three-ring circus! I was recently on a teaching mission in the far north of Canada and several times these Canadian citizens asked, “What the heck is going on in America?” Good question. I wish I had a good answer.
I am a proud American citizen. I would even say patriot. I was taught as a child to love this country. Yes, we have our problems but America still shines as a light in a dark world. My mother and father were veterans of World War II and Korea. My mother enlisted in the army as a nurse in 1942. My father was a decorated career infantry officer in North Africa and was on the campaign to liberate Rome. My family has served for generations, dating back to the Revolutionary War. I love this nation and believe in its foundation.
This season of politics has me a bit distraught if I only look at the constant 24/7 media stream. We’ve lost civility and respect; the war of words being waged would send my parents spinning in their graves. Thank goodness there is another perspective that supersedes the current political climate. It stands above all that is in the world. As a matter of fact it transcends space and time. This greater reality is the Kingdom of God. There is a greater allegiance in my life and it is to Almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit and Thy Kingdom Come.
I remember hearing from a professor in seminary, “God is not an American!” To be honest, it jarred me but I also knew immediately that it was true. It has stayed with me all these years. If we listen and frame it in the right context it points to a hope that still burns bright. Regardless of the shifting sands of this world (the economy, threats of terror, social injustice), there is a King who reigns on a firm foundation and His name is Jesus!
He is Son of the Living God, glorious in majesty and worthy of all worship. He is not just a prophet or Rabbi or wonder-worker. He’s the promised one: the Son of David, Abraham’s chosen seed, the one to deliver us from captivity, Yahweh in the flesh. He was sent to establish God’s reign and rule, to heal the sick, give sight to the blind, freedom to the prisoners and to proclaim Good News to the poor. He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. This Christ is not a reflection of current mood or a projection of our own desires. He is Lord and God; more loving, more holy and more wonderfully terrifying than we ever thought possible.
Who should you vote for in the 2016 election? I can’t tell you. I have not made a decision for myself in American politics. I will tell you to every day and in every way elect to make Jesus Lord of your life. In so doing, you are given hope and life and a citizenship in His Kingdom.