We are on the eve of what feels like the worst election ever. Yay kingdom of democracy. We will wake up on Wednesday to one of two pretty terrible options. As hard as this election has been, how we respond to the results is the next great challenge.
This election has tested the faith of Christians in ways we could not have anticipated. On a daily basis we balance the reality of living in one kingdom while our priority is another. This is not a new struggle. While Israel was in exile they faced this very dilemma. The prophet Daniel was given a vision of wild beasts representing different earthly kingdoms. One replaced the other, then as now, in a seemingly endless see-saw of godless rulers. In the middle of this vision, however, God gives Daniel a glimpse of a better king and kingdom:
I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a Son of Man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.
Daniel 7:13 -14
After we cast our vote, the only thing we can do is respond to the results. As Christians, our response must be a two kingdom response. I think there are four primary ways we will be tempted to respond sinfully to the election results, but by maintaining our focus on Jesus, the Son of Man, and his kingdom, we can avoid each.
1. Fear/Anxiety- Some will be tempted to wander down paths of speculation: what will happen to our nation? To the supreme court? To our economy (read: our jobs)? To our religious freedom? Rather than fret, we can look to our Sovereign God in faith. Jesus’ kingdom will not pass away.
2. Despair/Apathy- Some will be tempted to crawl into the dark cave of hopelessness. We will want to throw up our hands, move to Canada, and declare that the world is lost. Well, the world is lost, but the gospel of Jesus Christ is still our hope. As long as we proclaim this good news, there will always be light in this dark world.
3. Anger- Some will be tempted to lash out in anger against those who disagree with us or those who identify with the winner of the election. We may use our words as weapons rather than build up others and offer true hope. The Son of Man is not only our Savior, but also the eternal Judge. He will make wrongs right in the end; vengeance is his.
4. Arrogance- Some will be tempted to triumphant claims of glory. We may mistakenly believe that the solution to life’s greatest problems can be solved by a certain leader or even a political process. We must remember that only God’s kingdom will endure, and thus we should conduct ourselves with humility and grace.
As of Wednesday, Jesus will still have died for our sins and have risen from the dead. The gospel message of repentance and faith is just as needed and relevant as it has ever been. On the eve of this worst of elections I’ve got good news: the kingdom of the Son of Man will last much longer than four years. May his kingdom come!