If there is one thing I would have the church remember as our nation approaches Friday’s Presidential Inauguration, it would be the same message I proclaimed on the November 6th, in my pre-election day sermon entitled, “The Poll.”
Mind the trap.
The trap is that slow, subtle, sometimes undetectable belief that any one person or party or political system can offer any help or hope to the hurt of the world outside Jesus, the Christ of God.
What was true in the first century is true all the more in the 21st.
Christ > Caesar.
As followers of Jesus Christ, we must remember that our highest allegiance rests in the sacred confession that Jesus Christ is Lord. Lord of all. Lord of heaven and earth and all who dwell therein.
Why this reminder?
Because even now, after the election, it is easy to be swept like the tide with waves of emotion. Millions celebrate the results and look forward to Inauguration Day with eager anticipation. Millions of others grieve the results and struggle deeply to embrace the day.
My reminder to both: Christ > Caesar.
While active and passionate citizens of this nation, we are first and foremost citizens of another kingdom. It is the Kingdom of God; that realm and reign of Divine Love constantly breaking into this broken and imperfect world through the willing lives of those who yield to it.
That means our task is clear.
We are to live among (and with) one another as if the establishment of THAT Kingdom is our greatest priority. Bar none.
On Inauguration Day, I challenge you to consider one question.
What is being inaugurated in you?
What will you allow to come to an end?
What, by God’s Grace, will you allow to begin anew?
In 1 Timothy 2:1-4, we are instructed to pray for our government leaders and for those in authority over us.
We do this, not because we advocate or protest their positions.
We pray, not because we endorse or reject their political ideology.
We pray, because at every level, we aspire for the Kingdom of God’s Holy Love to come on earth as it is in heaven.
To that end I ask you to join me in prayer.
Pray for all of our elected officials; for their safety and well-being.
Pray for their hearts to be open & receptive to the power of God’s transforming love.
Pray for the wisdom of God to be invoked and embraced at the dawn of each day.
Pray for the priorities of Jesus to find pathways into the policies of our land.
Pray for compassion, mercy, humility, servant-leadership, justice, reconciliation, forgiveness, understanding, equity, decency, collaboration, sharing, empathy, reasonableness, generosity, authenticity, integrity, honesty, transparency, repentance, discipline, accountability, benevolence, congruency, discernment, discretion, fairness, honor, flexibility, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, sincerity, mutual-respect, unity-amid-diversity, perseverance, meekness, prudence, righteousness, truthfulness, tolerance, and sacrificial love.
And as we pray for our leaders, may we pray the same prayers for our neighbors as well as ourselves.
For the glory of our Lord, and the coming of his eternal reign!
Have I told you how much I love being your Pastor?
Well, I do.
Johns Creek Baptist Church