By Joel Luckemeyer
We are in November which means that one year from now we know the results of one more major national election. This means that soon we will be endowed with ads all over the media slinging mud and making promises. The news will continue to lead with all things politics simultaneously pulling us in and making us annoyed, burnt out, angry, and even scared of the opposing side. What is the result?
After the 2016 election, there were stories of marriages ending in divorce because one spouse voted for Trump while the other voted for Clinton. Here and there I would hear about people leaving churches they worshiped at because of differences in political opinions. (I thank God that didn’t happen at the congregation I serve). I know of friendships that have ended over politics. I’ve counseled a couple of my congregation’s members over their political despair. Historically, people are willing to give up freedom in order to feel safe. Could it be that our fear and anger towards each other is more dangerous for us than the actual people running for political office? I’m more concerned about the “heart” of Americans than I am about who will win the presidency in 2020.
I have a political party that I support. I don’t want the other side to win because I generally don’t believe in their platform and proposed policies. I’m not downplaying that there are important issues that need to be addressed. However, as a Christian the last thing that I should feel when it comes to our country’s politics is fear. Psalm 2:1 says, “Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain?” In verse 4 it continues, “He who sits in the heavens laughs.” To my fellow Christians reading this: It is good to care about our nation’s wellbeing, but take a step back and think about who God is – compared to a senator, representative, a governor, and even our president. I love America, but this is not our home. Applying Hebrews 11:12 to our lives reminds us that we are strangers here. Our home is with Jesus Christ our King who sits on the throne of Heaven with all of creation in His hands. What government official can take that away from you?
Jesus said of His followers, “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one can snatch them from my hand” (John 10:28). Jesus conquered death, He sits on the throne of Heaven, He will return destroying all evil. What do we as Christians have to fear except for very short discomfort in this world? The worst that can happen to us in this world is short when we try to contemplate the eternal bliss promised to us in Jesus Christ. This truth heals the heart that is terrorized by the fear mongering political talking heads.
Finally, the spread of the Gospel took place under a dictator called Caesar. The West wasn’t changed through the democratic process. The West was changed by the spreading of the Gospel. If you are Christian, the nation needs you to vote your conscience but, more importantly, if you want to change America for the better then love your neighbor, and share the Gospel with those who do not know it. Vote, but don’t look at voting as the only way to change the world. It’s far from it. The world changes by hearts changing. Only Jesus can change hearts. So, share with your family, friends, and those you meet what Jesus has done for you.
Joel Luckemeyer is pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church. He may be reached by calling 559-592-4070.
Prays Together is a rotating column between the pastors of the First Presbyterian Church of Exeter, Church of Christ of Exeter, Nazarene Church of Exeter, Church of God of Exeter, the New Life Assembly of God and Rocky Hill Community Church as well as the Lemon Cove Presbyterian Church.
This column is not a news article but the opinion of the writer and does not reflect the views of The Foothills Sun-Gazette newspaper.