In our current series on Nehemiah, we learn that he takes two terms as the “governor” of the region that includes Jerusalem. He was appointed as that, not elected, and it got me thinking about how political leadership is necessary even when it’s despised. Now comes the time when sensible and responsible citizens step up for what is called the “mid-term elections.” My heart goes out to those of you who bear the weight of political passion. You want people to be informed of, and by all means take seriously, our rights and privileges of voting. I join your call today through this blog entry.
As a follower of Jesus, I recognize that we do not bow to an elected official but to a King—the King of Kings, actually. It’s difficult for me to champion His rule and reign with equal passion for the electorate. I hope you will forgive the disparity. And yet I do remember, even among the drone of political ads, that I have the right to champion His rule and reign freely because we have such a process. I hope you remember that as well and are thankful for it.
So please, don’t allow the creeping cynicism to squelch your gratitude and cheapen your privilege to vote our consciences. Our freedom to elect is part of the overall climate that increases the opportunities to speak of the ultimate freedom that is offered in the gospel. We certainly don’t require such freedom to preach about the other, and the apostles would argue that it is how we preach while suffering that has its own unique power. Nevertheless, like Paul, we desire the unique opportunity to exalt Christ through every opportunity—in comfort as well as trial.
I believe it’s what he’s after in 1Timothy 2 when he writes in verses 1-2:
I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.
Paul goes on to specify that the reason he wants this peace is not just for comfort but as an environment to preach the gospel to others. We have this privilege to affect our environment. Please don’t neglect it.