Today we began a new series at Fellowship, called Uncertain Times. Pastor John (I mean Bishop J.C. Cremeans) gave the first message, “Politicked”. On the heals of last week’s election, these are very politically charged times. Many are disappointed in the outcome while many others are excited and hopeful. No matter how you voted (you did vote, right?), it is time to remember that government leaders can only do so much.
In Jesus’ time, the cultural environment was also very politically charged. Being under Roman occupation, the Jewish Zealots, were looking for a leader that would help them overthrow the Romans and restore Israel to a Jewish state. While he had many opportunities, Jesus always resisted steping into the role of an earthly king. He came for a higher calling and a more meaningful purpose. But at the same time, he did not reject government as something evil or wrong. On the contrary he told his followers to give to Ceasar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s. Even if they didn’t agree with what their rulers were doing, he reminded them to respect the authorities because they were put in place by God and to give them the honor that is due simply by the position they hold.
Even if a politically party could eliminate all poverty and hunger, secure full employment for everyone, eliminate all form of crime, and provide affordable health care for all, people would still not have what they need most – a saving relationship with Jesus.
Technology, like politics, can often be looked at with too much hope. No amount of computing power, internet speed, or social networks will ever fill the God-shaped hole that all people are born with. If Jesus were on the earth in our day, I’m convinced that he would use and leverage technology to reach people, but like 2000 years ago, his biggest concern would be with the matters of your heart. Government programs and various forms of technology cannot cure loneliness, fear, apathy, uncertainty, addiction, anger, jealously or many other human conditions. Only Jesus can do that. Technology is a means to an end, not an end in itself. Often that is overlooked.
In this season of political transition, I hope we can remember that the government is also a means to an end and not an end in itself. No president, governor or congressman can do what Jesus can. He is Mighty to Save!