It has been a wonderful retreat, and I continue to enjoy it. Being predominately off of the web for the last four months besides for checking the news periodically and whatever is needful for my work, I’ve been refreshed and more focused. Sadly, however, I have to admit I’ve Google searched “polls” more than I’m proud to admit. Why is it that “opinion polls” have become the term we think of when we think of the term polls. The actual polls are where we go to vote, to actually make conscience-driven objective decisions, not to share our opinions. Typically I’ll check these opion polls once every day or every other day and read the various articles coming out about the election. This morning it seemed very appropriate to consider Jesus for a while in the midst of my daily time alone with Him. Something came to mind while doing this: My bachelor’s degree is in Government with a focus on Public Policy. My life has thus far, since college, been oriented around lay (un-paid) pastoral ministry. My wife and I have sought to carve out a lifestyle that allows us to serve our neighbors and friends as well as to care for the least of these with the Gospel of Jesus.
What would it be like to sit with Jesus in conversation about “The Polls”? That was my thought in my prayers this morning, and Jesus gave me a peace as I considered His death for me. The Holy Spirit warmed my heart with the consideration that God is not nervous even in the least about this election. The blood of Jesus was shed so that sinners and “saints” might bow before God’s throne one day washed to purity and made righteous for eternity! This is available to all who trust Jesus with their eternal fate, repent of their sinfulness, and turn to following the Way, the Truth, and the Life, Jesus Christ. God’s Word explains that God is the One Who raises up and puts down this world’s rulers. We have two very sinful candidates before us to choose between, and in the final analysis, this will be just one of thousands of very important decisions we need to make in the fear and admonition of the Lord of glory. Each of us will be judged one day for our decisions and actions upon those decisions.
God is in full control, but He also has set things up to where we have full responsibility for our decisions and actions upon those decisions. Let’s not be lazy in our temporary citizenships/memberships at the civic level, but let’s also not forget where our most important citizenship is firmly fixed! All who trust in Jesus as their Redeemer firmly believe and know that in His family is where we ultimately belong. Our deepest belonging is a belonging to the One Who paid for us with His own blood. He purchased us by dying on that cross in our place.
Jesus asked His disciples, and I believe He asks us all today, “But Who do you say that I am?” May we, like Peter in Mark chapter eight, firmly state, “You are the Christ.”
It is a joy to serve in my little community of Merced as a very non-glamorous public official. No one would guess my office, but I am in fact a public official. I also look forward to serving in this election for the sake of protecting the experience of voters, making sure things are done with decorum and privacy. Voting is a real honor and privilege, but it’s also comforting that we aren’t in a purely democratic system where mob rule is a reality, though sometimes polls and/or crowds, riots, etc can make one nervous that we are moving in that direction. Let us remember that though many disagree about exactly how the Constitution was formed and the manner in which this nation (the USA) is run, we are in one of the most free nation states in the world, particularly when it comes to exercising our rights to practice Christianity, to live it out passionately.
In closing, with Jesus and His Word in our hearts, let’s do our research and go to the polls (not the phone polls but the actual voting booths) with our consciences clear on each of the issues/topics/decisions we need to make. May the Lord be glorified in the privacy of each of our souls with how we are weighing the decisions before us. May we be conscience over opinion governed, and may our nation be a missionary-sending nation more and more. We are called to Love God, Love Neighbor, and Make Disciples of Jesus Christ. May we, whether we’re “permitted to do so” or not, run hard in the Way Himself, run hard in the joy of our Redeemer, and SHOW GRACE and then SHARE GRACE, our joyous Savior and Lord, Jesus the very Christ Himself.
Trusting in the all-sufficient God over all of us,
P.S. For the photo on this post I put up a picture of my son Jackson and me showing off our massive muscles (or bellies rather) simply for your entertainment…