Going Deeper 9-19-19

The second reading for Pentecost 15…

1 Timothy 2:1-7   First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity.  This is right and is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.  For there is one God; there is also one mediator between God and humankind, Christ Jesus, himself human, who gave himself a ransom for all—this was attested at the right time.  For this I was appointed a herald and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

 

It is both awkward and dangerous for pastors to address the volatile realm we call politics.  This has proven to be true—and continues to be true—for our church family known as Zion, where we have members covering pretty much the entire political spectrum.  Therefore, Paul’s urging “that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all who are in high positions” is exceedingly challenging and important.  For most of us (at least I know this is true for me), it is often hard to pray for leaders with whom we have serious disagreements.  And, quite frankly, that is something we better change!

 

I believe that the greatest challenge our country faces is divisive, angry, partisanship.  It seems we have lost the ability to disagree without disliking.  And the propensity of our candidates and leaders to practice attack-style campaigning and leadership has helped create and grow this volatile reality.  As we pray for “all who are in high positions” perhaps at the top of the list ought to be praying for a healing of this brokenness.  Similar to our relationships within the Church at-large-- the whole Body of Christ, we must seek to maintain unity in spite of the lack of uniformity.  It is okay, even necessary, for there to be differences and disagreements.  It is even okay for there to be emotions involved… as long as one of the emotions is not hatred or spite.

 

As we move into an election year, let us pray for-- and call for-- a new spirit to blow across our land.  For us as children of God, we call this Spirit “Holy,” and our prayer is for a miraculous healing, that we might learn how to disagree (sometimes even radically) with allowing hatred and spite to rule.  After all, we know that “God our Savior… desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”  It is hard for us to reach out with grace to people we hate.  May God’s love change both us and our leaders, bringing a new Spirit, a healing and unifying Spirit of peace.

 

One With You in Him,

 

Mark Gabbert, Pastor

Zion Lutheran Church, Wellington, Colorado

 

“No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”