Every four years, presidential candidates from the political parties prance and preen before the voters in primary politics. Invariably, these efforts seem to collide with the church’s calendar. Many followers of Jesus are now observing the season of Lent. At the same time Christians are examining themselves, seeking repentance and humility, the airwaves are filled with men and women claiming to be the best hope for America.
If you have been paying attention, you probably noticed that every candidate is unhappy with the status quo. In that way, they seem to match the mood of the electorate. It doesn’t matter if you are a Republican or a Democrat. There is a sense of anxiety and unease about the state of our union. I have had several conversations with people, and I am hearing that we are afraid. We are afraid that terrorists will attack again. We are afraid that the economy will falter. We are afraid that the nation has failed the next generation. The details change from person to person, party to party, but there is a sense that we have lost our way.
We are looking for a hero, and the politicians are eager to play the part. We want to take back our country, to start a revolution or to make America great again. Vote for this candidate or another, and all your dreams will come true. Unfortunately, we soon learn that no one can match the rhetoric and the high expectations.
I would never dissuade someone from participating in the political process, and I do believe that elections have consequences. People of faith should be politically active. Nonetheless, as Christians, we have a messiah. Let’s stop looking for another.
When Jesus faced the kingdoms of this world, they sought to destroy him. They nailed him to a cross. Jesus stood for justice and righteousness, and the religious leaders and the Roman authorities killed him. However, that was the limit of their power. They couldn’t do worse.
By rising from the dead, Jesus demonstrated that the authorities of this world are impotent. God’s kingdom is triumphant. Politics can only accomplish so much. Our challenges may be real, but we don’t need to be afraid. The resurrection gives us the confidence to overcome our problems without demagoguery or demonization. We are less concerned with winning than seeking the truth or serving our neighbor. Easter rescues us from false messiahs.
It’s a reminder that we desperately need.