A couple of weeks ago I was talking with my friend Harry Hanger in the parking lot outside the office where our Tuesday morning small group meets. A woman came up to us and said, “I just want to thank you for your encouraging conversation, you must be Christians.”
We exchanged pleasantries with the woman and then asked her how we could pray for her. After she told us what her needs were we prayed with her. After the prayer she started talking about the nation and how everything was falling apart. She told us that Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry would be turning over in their graves if they knew what was happening…and on and on she went. The state of the nation was what was uppermost in this woman’s mind, she was in despair, we needed to put the right people in office.
After listening to this I finally said, “Well, we have the promise of Daniel Chapter Two, a stone cut without hands is going to destroy the kingdoms of this earth and that stone will fill the earth – God’s kingdom will come and we are citizens of that kingdom, not of this earth. We need not live in fear”
She looked at me, extended her hand for me to shake, and said, “Whatever.”
Ah, that in a nutshell is what many professing Christians say when they hear that God’s kingdom is not man’s kingdom, that God’s kingdom is not dependent on a political party, or economic system, or any other system of the earth. Many Christians would rather live in despair than trust in the sovereignty of God, many Christians would rather trust in natural means than in the Holy Spirit, many Christians would rather resort to fleshly manipulations, vitriolic rhetoric, and political power at any cost rather than being broken bread and poured out wine for those with whom they disagree.
It seems that the Biblical text is beside the point for political and economic agendas espoused by many Christians – how easily we forget that we are not to love the world nor the things in the world – this includes political things, economic things, things that look oh so patriotic, things that appear good – our citizenship is simply not to be found in those things, and any citizenship we may hold on earth at present is only temporary and should not be confused with the Kingdom of God. The passport the follower of Jesus carries transcends earthly distinctions, it transcends time and space; and that passport allows us, nay it commands us, to serve and love people without distinction, without prejudice, without preference, and without reserve.
The reality of Daniel Chapter Two is eternal and is being worked out on the earth today – whatever barriers we may put in its way. Better to live in that hope than to grasp at fleeting earthly agendas. Better to align ourselves with the kingdom that cannot be shaken. Better to place our hope in Him whose kingdom has no end…whatever others may think.