In recent years, when we look at our elected officials in government offices, it is easy to get jaded as it seems that no matter who gets into office, no problems are fixed and things just keep getting worse.
I am not saying we should stay out of politics or throw up our hands in despair. But maybe we are losing hope because our hope was misplaced to begin with. As Christians, we should not be hoping in politicians and governments.
And no, I am NOT saying that instead, we should put our hope in Jesus. This is true, of course, but it’s too easy to say, and much harder to apply. How do you “put your hope in Jesus” for millions of unemployed people? How do you “put your hope in Jesus” for millions of people without food and homes?
As I was walking through a parking lot yesterday, I saw a bumper sticker which read, “Jesus is the answer.” But that depends on the question. There are lots of questions where “Jesus” is not the answer. There are lots of issues where “Jesus” is not the solution. At least, not quite so easily as that.
Let me explain. Rather, let Mary explain.
In my commentary on Luke 1:46-55, I write about the song Mary sings after she is told she will give birth to the Messiah. Mostly, the song is about the Messiah. But I argue briefly that the center of the song seems to be 1:50, that from generation to generation, God’s mercy will be on those who fear Him. It’s a hinge verse, where verses 46-49 are about how God has used her, and verses 51-55 are about how He can use anyone else in a similar way.
As she expands and explains this concept in the rest of her song, Mary shows over and over that God does not work through the rich, powerful, and elite, but through the poor, humble, and hungry. And this is not just true in her own generation with the coming of the Messiah, but for every generation. That includes ours.
So the song is really about how God gets things done in this world. And the answer is that he does not primarily use presidents, senators, investment bankers, and movie stars, but WalMart checkers, stay-at-home moms, construction workers, mail carriers, farmers, and McDonald’s hamburger flippers. Anybody who fears God (i.e., respectfully obeys Him) can be used by God to turn this world upside down. Yes, bankers and senators can be part of that, but that’s not the point. The point is this: WE can help feed and clothe people. WE can help teach people. WE can help people live better, healthy lives. WE can provide clean water. It’s not THEIR job. It’s OUR job. If we fear God, if we want to obey Him, it is what WE will do.
Don’t put such things off on Jesus, especially when He has told US to do it. And definitely don’t put it off on politicians.
Mary saw a world, led by Jesus, where everybody worked to feed the poor, heal the sick, clothe the naked, touch the brokenhearted, and love the unlovable. That’s what she sang about. That’s what she longed for. No matter who is in political office, let’s work together to make Mary’s world a reality.