This week has been the kind of week where you just want to curl up under the covers and escape from the world. As I write we are experiencing cold, rainy weather, the kind that feels more like March than late October. Autumn has been wonderfully warm and long and the foliage is peaking. But it has to end sooner or later I suppose. As a friend observed, during the course of this week we’ll have experienced the residual effects of Hurricane Zeta, Mischief Night, a blue full moon on Halloween, Daylight Saving Time, and just to add insult to injury, the 2020 presidential election. By the time this blog is published all of this will have come to pass and hopefully we’ll have moved on to better times. But right now, I could really use a cup of coffee and my blankie.
The changing climate is tough if you generally dread the cold, but the cultural and political climate have been dreadful as well. I’m sure you’ve noticed – things have been really rough out there. The polarized and divisive bickering and fighting seems to have been ratcheted up beyond the breaking point on both sides of the aisle. Friends have turned into enemies trying to wound each other with shame and condemnation. It’s so disheartening and I’m weary of it all. That seems like the most fitting word: it’s wearisome.
Jesus tells us to go to Him when we are weary in Matthew 11:28 (NIV): “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” The ESV states it this way: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Spending time in scripture and prayer are the perfect way to cope with stress and refocus our priorities. I like this quote from Corrie Ten Boom: “If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed. If you look within, you’ll be depressed. If you look at Christ you’ll be at rest.” I need to keep reminding myself of this as it’s so easy to become discouraged by the world.
During the weeks leading up to this season I’ve increasingly become immersed in the cultural and political landscape. I don’t think it’s possible not to, considering the endless ads and messaging crossing our paths. But I began spending more time with content by authors and thought leaders…while reading scripture less. Recently I found a thoughtful article by a political commentator in which he included a lengthy scripture passage. It got my attention, but the biggest impression it made on me was the realization that a political piece by an unreligious man reminded me to read God’s word. I became aware of how much I’ve been neglecting that important time spent studying scripture and praying and how my priorities were in need of rearranging.
It’s definitely important to take part in political causes and elections and we should serve and vote intelligently. We can be sure that election outcomes and political decisions will cause elation for some and despair for others. But we should live never losing sight that our trust and hope is in Christ. Jesus is our true King and the one whom we truly serve. He is King of kings and Lord of lords, King over all the earth and in Heaven. God’s word testifies to His authority:
For the LORD, the Most High, is to be feared, a great king over all the earth. -Psalm 47:2 (ESV)
But of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom.” -Hebrews 1:8 (ESV)
…he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen. – 1 Timothy 6:15-16 (ESV)
And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, “Great and amazing are your deeds, O Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations!– Rev 15:3 (ESV)
Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me for not prioritizing my time in your word. Thank you for your peace and the rest we have when we turn to you in prayer and worship. We love you and glorify you, singing:
Throughout the endless ages
You will be crowned with praises
Lord Most High
Exalted in every nation
Sovereign of all creation
Lord most high
(From Lord Most High by Harris and Sandler)
And we pray 1 Timothy 1:17 –To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. (ESV)