I’m writing this a couple of days before the election, but by the time you read it, Election Day will be over and we will (hopefully) have a clear presidential winner.
Some of us will need time to grieve.
Some of us will want to rejoice (but please don’t gloat).
And then we need to get busy doing the work.
First we need to pray for our—yes, our—
Listen to what Paul tells Timothy:
I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. (1 Timothy 2:1-4 NLT)
Paul wrote this (as well as Romans 13, which says to submit to authorities because all authority comes from God) during the reign of Nero, an emperor who was already a mess and is reported to later have dipped Christians in oil and set them on fire to illuminate his garden. If Paul saw even Nero’s authority as coming from God, we can believe the same concerning our president. And so we pray and give honor to our president as Peter tells us in I Peter 2:17.
And then we do the work Jesus himself said was our mission—
the Great Commandment:
“Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” Jesus replied, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
(Matthew 22:36–40 NLT)
No need to memorize all the commandments listed in the Old Testament, Jesus says. They all fit in these two categories–loving God and loving others. So if we ask:
“Is this action, attitude, speech, or investment showing love to God and to others?”
we will know what to do.
He did flesh out what that loving looks like in Matthew 22:
“For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me. Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’” (Matthew 25:35–40 NLT)
Do the work Jesus committed to us: loving, serving, welcoming, caring, visiting.
God told the people of Israel something very similar when they asked how they should worship God:
“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8 NIV)
Let’s do the work
of acting justly
of loving mercy and
of walking humbly.
This is what God requires as a life lived in worship of him.
Jesus also gave his followers something we call the Great Commission:
“Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations.”
(Matthew 28:19 NLT)
Make a disciple, a follower of God who lives like Jesus did. And what will that look like? Jesus already spelled it out in the passages above.
Whoever leads us in Washington, we have a mission—to do the work of compassion, of justice, of love, of witness, of making disciples.
Let’s get serious and do the work.
I’d love to hear what will be your next step of living out the Great Commandment and the Great Commission. Post a comment!