Tag: Politics

The Deeper Reality of Politics

How have you felt about the upcoming election? One week from today millions will cast their vote for president. Messages of fear, anxiety, angst, and anger have come to the forefront of each commentary on the candidates. Fact-checking gets more and more difficult with the vast amount of information.

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Faith in Jesus does not dismiss our fears, anxieties, and frustrations, but rather responds to it differently. The deeper reality of politics has to do with one of the greater narratives of Scripture; Jesus is the hero of every story.

Scan the pages of the Old and New Testaments. You will find deeply flawed political leaders. David, the most heralded of Jewish kings, commits murder. Solomon exploits his riches to feed his pleasure. Xerxes operated out of insecurity. Nebuchadnezzar had an enormous ego out of his gain. Pilate cared about the polls before they even existed.

I wonder what those followers of Jesus would say to us today. Perhaps, they would empathize with our plight. Even more so, I think they would remind us to look beyond the power systems to see God at work. They had lived through their political chaos to see that Jesus works in the storms.

How do you live out the deeper reality of Jesus in the midst of this political mess? Eugene Peterson in Reverse Thunder, a book about Revelation, has a chapter called “The Last Word on Politics.” Peterson describe living in the deeper reality called the “Politics of the Lamb” or the politics of Jesus:

The politics of the Lamb takes the ordinary and basic elements of our obedience (offering our adoration in worship, listening to the proclaimed word, practicing a holy life) and develops them into the ultimate and eternal. The politics of the Lamb, by showing that the plainest of details of our daily faith are significant facts in a cosmic drama, protects us from hubris and guides us into maturity that pours intelligence and energy into what is before us, make a work of a holy art out of the ordinary.

Radically following Jesus in this political climate can look ordinary. Our faith lived out goes well-beyond who will become president. You live out in your practices.

It exchanges the constant fact-checking of policy and insults with the truth of Scripture. It calls us to identify our anxiety and bring it to prayer. We watch our words and thoughts because we recognize each person created in the image of God. Faithfully, we gather with the community of believers sharing in the greater story of grace.

Today, live in the deeper reality of Jesus. No matter who becomes president, He is the hero of every story. Let your faith become practice.

Photo credit by Augusto Navarro.

Reads of the Week | 02/06/2016

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Start your weekend with these five articles in the Reads of the Week.

Two Boats, One Gospel: Black History Month and the Church’s Witness by Esau McCaulley

February is Black History Month. McCaulley shares a compelling perspective on racial reconciliation with the grace and truth of the Gospel:

In the midst of my anger, Jesus has come and spoken words of peace. I now see that our destinies (black, white, Asian, Hispanic, Native-American) are united, caught up in the one story of the one people of God. America’s story is only important as a witness to the gospel’s power to bring beauty out of pain and estrangement.

Jesus Met Me Under a Table by Dr. Chuck DeGroat

We look for safe places. DeGroat speaks of how we can create safe places for people to heal and how Jesus does the same for us.

Fair Trade Sports by Zach Smith

This is an important article to re-read from the archives. Many of us will watch the Super Bowl on Sunday. Smith does an excellent job bringing to light the tension between the church and sports.

To Hope all Things about the American Voter by O. Alan Noble

In the midst of a political season, Noble calls us to love our neighbor even if we disagree with their vote. He provides a wonderful plea for political sober-mindedness.

Stop Being Over-Sensitive by Jade Mazarin 

Mazarin offers simple and practical advice for the many of us who can be over-sensitive. She encourages readers not take responsibility for other people’s actions.

What were your reads of the week? Share the links in the comment section below.

Photo credit by Roman Mager.

Reads of the Week | 01/23/2016

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Start your weekend with these five articles in the Reads of the Week.

6 Bible Verses When You Feel Stuck in Life by Jeff Martin

Jeff makes a remarkable observation here:

When we shift the focus of our prayers from our will to his, things change. Our eyes start to open to new possibilities. This year could hold the fresh start we’re looking for—and it starts with realigning our hearts.

All Christians are Biased Voters by Christena Cleveland

The political season is upon us. Cleveland shares about how our views come from biases. This article invites us to listen to others and calls us to humility.

6 Tips for Cultivating the Practice of Reading Scripture by Joel Green

Green provides six suggestions for reading Scripture. He gives us a glimpse of the Bible shapes our lives in personally and in community with each other.

Why Some People Take Breakups Harder Than Others by Lauren Howe

Not just breaking up, but How examines our internal narratives. This piece opens people to see a redemptive reaction to rejection.

The Founder of TOMS on Reimagining the Company’s Mission by Blake Mycoskie

Mycoskie shares how he recaptured the “why” of TOMS, rather than focusing on the “what” and “how.” A fantastic insight for people who lead organizations.

What were your reads of the week? Share the links in the comment section below.

Photo credit by Aleksi Tappura.

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