If Jesus campaigns for a seat in the US Senate
He replied, “When you hear of wars and insurrections, don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place first.” — Luke 21:1
Jesus the Prophet, yes, but Jesus the Politian?
Marcus J. Borg writes of politics being at the center of the Jesus story, and he’s right. Consider the obvious. Our Savior’s historical life ended with a political execution, and crucifixion was used by the Romans to take out those who systematically rejected imperial authority. This death sentence included chronically defiant slaves and pesky subversives who were attracting a following.
Jesus died not because He was talking so much about this world; He died because He was talking so much about the next world. He’s doing it here in Luke 21. Jesus sets our priorities and our perspectives not on the grind of each day, but on the glory to come. Believers get this. Believers live this.
Jesus created for His followers the ideology that this life isn’t necessarily the blessing. He says what you have seen: news around the world isn’t always good or just. There’s hardship, upheaval, and tragedy. Tremendous hurts come not just for some. Whole nations suffer.
His counsel to this is not to panic. This seems counterintuitive, until you, like Jesus, set your priorities. The ability to hoard or the ability to share are intrinsically yours — and I’m not just talking about your financial resources. We Christians should open and share from our wallets, yes. We should also share from our wealth of hope. When hard headlines hit, we are to do as Jesus advises, and not panic. We are not to feed the fires of fear or anger, or focus on scarcity models that promise a future of gloom and doom.
I am not blasphemous when I invite us to imagine Jesus as a US Senator today because when we do hear voices from Washington, DC raising what Jesus Himself would raise — when we hear compassionate leaders advocating justice, peace, equality and (of all things) love — we, who remember or Armed Service men and women this weekend, should do more than listen, we should act.
Jesus, help us hear You even (or especially) when, as a nation, we want to panic. Amen.