Jesus and presidential elections

political-symbols-democrat-republican-oThis is my least favorite time of year. Not Summer, I love Summer. I love anytime I can ride my motorcycle. The time of year I’m talking about is the political season. That seems to be getting longer and longer every time. It seems like the we no sooner elect a president than we start seeing who is going to run in the next election.

This year, I’m imagining that someone will step up and start campaigning for President in 2020 right after the convention dust has settled here in 2016.

Yikes! I just wrote 2020 and realized that was only four years from now. According to the movies I watched in the 80’s we should have flying cars, total devastation of the world, and artificial intelligence that wipes us off the face of the earth. But I digress.

I was talking with a friend of mine and we were discussing how leaders are chosen in the church. He said, “We always choose Saul.” Saul was a head taller than all the other Israelites. He was bigger and therefore tougher than anyone else. We like big tough guys, or gals, to lead us. We want someone that will tell the other folks where to get off or how far they can go.

We like tough leaders that put other people in their place. That’s the problem with Jesus, isn’t it?

To the people in power he was a threat. To the people that were oppressed, he was their hope. When he came into town the people were waiting for him to start kicking butt and taking names. And, he let them down.

They wanted their enemies beaten and he was saying, “Love your enemies.” They wanted revenge and he said, “Forgive them as I have forgiven you.” He was the worst possible choice for king.

We’d have the same problem today. Jesus shows up on the scene. He’s loving the folks, speaking truth to power, not to mention raising the dead, healing the sick, giving sight to the blind, etc. and we start pinning our hopes and dreams on him.

But no! When we want him to lead, he starts to serve. When we want him to punish, he starts forgiving. When we want him to hate, he starts to love. He has all the potential to be the King we’ve always wanted, but he keeps doing things we don’t understand.

Jesus, possessing all power, did not use that power to get his way. If political power were the way to change the world, Jesus would have done it right then and there, but he didn’t force anyone to do anything.

Seriously, the rich ruler walked away sad because he had great wealth (Mark 10:17-27). Jesus didn’t chase after him, tackle him, and give him a noogie until he gave all his money to the poor. He let him walk away. He didn’t make him do anything.

I’m telling you, no one would vote for Jesus.

But Jesus changed the world. Not through force but love. One person in one place at a time. When he said, “you will be my witnesses…to the end of the earth.” Acts 1.8 We are already there. One man, with 12 shaky and flaky followers, toppled the great Roman Empire with no political or economic clout at all.

God is not in heaven worried about who will be president. I don’t think God cares. What I believe God is waiting for is for the people of God to rise up and the start living and loving like Jesus.

The Church is a sleeping giant, not because it great wealth or political power, but because it is empowered by God’s Holy Spirit. If only we got our eyes off of Saul and looked for the humble servant washing feet.

We’d never vote for Jesus.

Thank God that doesn’t stop him from being our King.