(What Is the Church’s Message After the Election? was first published on 11/12/2012)
Most of us have probably heard the story. An airplane was flying through some turbulent air. It was so bad, even the crew was frightened. While the passengers all buckled their seat belts and gritted their teeth, there was one little girl that sat relaxed, playing with her doll.
The lady sitting next to her asked the child, “Aren’t you afraid?” “Oh, no,” the calm little girl answered. “My daddy’s the pilot and he knows I’m on board.”
Pretty much everyone agrees these are turbulent times. Economists claim we are headed for a “fiscal cliff.” If the social media and talking heads of television is any indication, half the country thinks the election sealed our fate; our country is doomed.
I’ve faced my share of turbulence in life; I suspect you have as well. But, through it all, I have believed that God is in control and He knows I am on board. Whether it was the death of my parents or the death of my daughter; heart surgery or cancer; success or failure; through the good, bad, and ugly; God has always been there for me.
In these days of economic and political uncertainty I find comfort in the words of Jesus found in the Sermon On the Mount: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” (Matthew 6:25-26)
These words bring comfort. But Jesus certainly didn’t mean to suggest God will give you everything you want. Nor did he mean that we should simply rely upon God and not do our part. A significant way God takes care of us is by commanding us to take care of one another. This same Jesus is the one who insists we will be judged finally by how well we care for others, especially the least, the last, and the lost. “All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me”(Matthew 25:32-36).
Join me in praying for our nation and its leaders. We need to pray that God will give them wisdom in these perilous times. We need to pray for our neighbors, here and around the world, especially those who are the most vulnerable.
We need also to examine our own lifestyles and commitments. We need to examine our own hearts; ask ourselves some hard questions. Surely we can see more clearly today that we can’t trust wall street or main street or Pennsylvania Avenue to bring us lasting happiness. Surely we must see where greed and looking out for number one really get us.
I read a quote once that has really stuck with me: “Money ain’t what it used to be—and never was!” Where are you placing your trust these days? We’ve tried trusting in mammon. We’ve tried trusting in politicians. Maybe its time we trusted Jesus and really tried it God’s way.