Of Citizenship and Discipleship

As I prepare to make my way to the polls today, and before all of the post-election political frenzy sets in (particularly if it involves protracted “recount” litigation, as was the case four years ago), a simple reminder, mostly for myself:

In the end, the hope of our nation and (more importantly) the world, does not depend on whether George Bush or John Kerry is president. It doesn’t depend on who is elected to Congress or the Senate. It doesn’t depend on who gets to make appointements to the Supreme Court. It doesn’t depend on whether this country has been or continues to be a “Christian nation,” whatever that means. It doesn’t depend on whether our nation can shape an effective foreign and military policy to deal with terrorism and the Iraq conflict. It doesn’t depend on political parties or political systems. It doesn’t even depend on the survival of our national way of life or the strength of our military.

All of those things are important enough to impose on me an obligation to carefully consider the issues and vote in accordance with my convictions (even with my sour attitude about the whole process). But political instutions and politicians and, especially, their lawyers, are not going to dig our world out of the hellhole in which it is mired.

The only hope for the world is the light of the Kingdom of God.

If I have to invest my time and attention heavily, I don’t want it to be in a president, or a political system, or even a nation. I’ll try my best to fulfill my obligations as a citizen in the place and time in history where I find myself, but – when it comes to where my hope and faith are ultimately placed – I’m not counting on presidents and political systems to get a heck of a lot done.

I want to be invested in the Kingdom: bringing the presense of Jesus into people’s lives by doing what he would do and following what he taught me to do. By being a part of a body that is dedicated to reaching the disenfranchised of the world with the good news that God’s Kingdom has arrived, and they are invited to be a part of it.

How about you?


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