Many are calling the 2012 Presidential election the most important in history. It is certainly the most expensive, exceeding a billion dollars in advertising alone. Participation in the election is expected to be high, with more than 30% in swing states casting votes early.
As the intensity crescendos to Election Day, it is important to recognize there is one election more important and expensive than the 2012 presidential contest. It is an election that has implications far beyond the next four years or even the United States. It is an election that should shape how we handle the importance and our participation in this year’s presidential election. It answers the question of whom God is voting for in the big Election.
The amazing news of the Gospel is that when God had every option available to Him and stepped into the voting booth, He made a world-changing choice. Jesus announced it this way:
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. This is my command: Love each other.” John 15:16-17
Congratulations! Even if you didn’t know or want to be a candidate, if you are a follower of Jesus, you have been elected! It is a humbling exciting truth. It is also the most important and expensive election in history. God is on a mission to redeem all that is broken in the world – to answer the prayer of God’s will being done on earth as it is in heaven. His commitment to it is demonstrated through His love for us that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). There has never been nor will ever be a greater cost or demonstration of love. Jesus’ resurrection sets us free to for our elected purpose: to go and bear fruit.
The ultimate good news is that Jesus is king. Jesus’ reign matters more than any other. Jesus’ kingdom is eternal and ultimate. All of this has important implications for our participation in the privilege of national elections:
1. Our participation in matters of earthly importance like voting is valuable. What does God want to see happen according to God’s redemptive mission in the world? God has revealed Himself uniquely in His Word. So, when we step into the voting booth, rather than voting according to what we think might be best for us personally or for our political party, consider what will best reflect and further God’s purposes in the world.
2. The good news is God is in control. Paul goes so far as to say those in governing positions of authority are placed there by God’s sovereignty (see Romans 13:1). This is especially surprising because the Roman emperors of his day were persecuting Christians and promoting hedonism and injustice. However, it is a strong statement of faith that even when it doesn’t look like it to our short-sighted vision, God is in control.
3. Because Jesus is king, he reigns over everything regardless of national identity or political party. This one central reality offers genuine hope and unity. The future is not ultimately determined by who will be in the White House the next four years (as important as that is), but Who it is on the Throne for eternity and over all Creation. It would behoove whoever is in the White House to consult and submit to the One who truly reigns. This is also the source of our unity as Christians. In a politically polarizing society, what can be a more powerful witness than Christians across political persuasions fulfilling the King’s command: Love one another.
4. Prioritize and give yourself to the purposes for which you have been elected. Imagine a president being elected to the Oval Office and then spending the term only enjoying the privileges of the office without giving themselves to the purposes for which they were elected. Ludicrous right? We too have been elected, elected to the greatest of all privileges as ambassadors of the Kingdom of God (2 Corinthians 5:20). There are wonderful promises and benefits to be enjoyed as those God has elected, but also responsibility to fully give ourselves to the mission for which we have been chosen. With His help, we are called to fulfill the purposes of our election, to bear much fruit.