There is no need for me to tell you about the election. I think that for those who are concerned with the failing economy, unthinkable debt, America’s sliding into socialism, the attack on religious freedom, abortion on demand, the homosexual agenda, and blatant disregard for the Constitution, the choice is fairly clear. But neither of our alternatives are very exciting. For the first time in American history, neither of the candidates are true Christians. In a country largely founded by Christians who wanted freedom of worship, we find freedom of worship attacked, with neither of its prospective leaders personally concerned with Christianity in the slightest (Obama is a-religious, and Mormons are not true Christians, no matter how much they may try to convince you that they are — do some research….)
As many of you know, I was once heavily involved in politics. I have a masters degree in politics, and worked for lobbying firms and political campaigns all through college; but my conversion changed all that. When my blood starts boiling about politics, I try to stop and remind myself of my fundamental insight, and that insight is the following: I always wanted to be in the middle of the battle when it came to world events and the “meaning of it all.” But when I had my conversion, I came to the realization that the real battle was the spiritual one, not the political one. ALL WE SEE IN THE POLITICAL ARENA ARE THE EFFECTS OF THE SPIRITUAL BATTLE. Imagine that the spiritual battle is like a nuclear war between God and Satan. The real bombs are going off through prayer, acts of kindness, fasting, singing, and the strengthening of Church and families (or the opposites of all these, if you are on the “other guy’s” team). What we see in the political arena is the just fallout of those soul-transforming explosions.
It’s happening all around us, but what can we do? It is prophesied that towards the ends of days, the love of men will grow cold (matt 24:12), nation will rise against nation (Luke 21:10), and disasters will occur all over the globe. And listen to St. Paul writing his final words to Timothy:
Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by giving heed to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons through the pretensions of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid [lawful] marriage and enjoin abstinence from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. (1 Tim 4:1-3)
For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths. As for you, always be steady, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfil your ministry. (2 Tim 4:3-5)
Today’s reading is that beautiful hymn of Phillipians that tells us that Jesus himself did not hold on to the privileges of his divinity, but poured himself out for us so that he might serve others through love and save those whom he could. When we get too wrapped up in concerns with the earthly kingdom, The Gospel reminds us that only one kingdom lasts, and that’s God’s. And he will see it filled. We were invited to the table, but will we go to the table to be sustained, or will we look elsewhere for answers?
So let the election happen — there’s nothing we can do about it. There are spiritual events that are occurring all around us, striking our souls like unseen hurricanes. And you can’t really do anything about a hurricane. Or can you? We actually can prepare for a hurricane. And I think that God is asking us to prepare ourselves for these great spiritual events as well. In a spiritual hurricane as well as a physical one, we gather in those whom we love, we pray, we show kindness to those who are lost and suffering, and we remember what is truly important in this life; and we also remember that there is another life coming after this one, and that next one is going to be a bit longer than this one, if memory serves me correctly. This life is just a dress rehearsal.
What can we do to “fulfill our ministry,” as Paul tells Timothy? How can we pour ourselves out in our little corner of the world to establish the Kingdom of God, one brick at a time? In the words of the well-known “Serenity Prayer,” “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
So take comfort, my friends, from some of the most consoling words that Jesus ever spoke:
“Do not be afraid, little flock for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32) “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)