The race has begun; it will end in 512 days… and then start up again.
I’ve lived through 16 presidential election cycles, and that experience does not energize me regarding the next 17 months. Cursed with digital devices programmed to deliver “Breaking News” with no legitimacy filter, anything having to do with the two dozen people (one incumbent, and 23 aspirants) who believe themselves worthy of the Office of the President will attempt to interrupt my concentration toward the truly meaningful – and, far more urgent – activities of my life. It’ll happen to you, too…
Worthy? Ask Webster about “worthy:” having or showing the qualities or abilities that merit recognition in a specified way.
The biblical definition of worthiness is to be competent, fit, able, suitable, or appropriate. We have combined and confused worthiness with righteousness resulting in the assumption that God makes us worthy. He has given us the task of becoming – and, being – worthy of elevation or advancement: “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” (Ephesians 4:1).
When Jesus came to the Jews, 2000 years ago, their distaste for the Roman government was certain. Their pain filter caused their interpretation of the Scriptures’ promise of Messiah to be personally framed, and immediately focused: they wanted the Promised One to mount a campaign to reestablish their sovereignty and usher in an era of righteousness. That longing drove even the 12 who spent 1000 days with Jesus to ask the question, just before his Ascension and return to Heaven: “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6).
I’ve looked across the stage of the candidates – from both of the dominant parties – and the fact is indisputable: not one of them could be considered for service on the board of a church that uses the Bible to establish the qualifying criterion.
We’ll be asking the question as we approach our responsibility as citizens, about 500 days from now: Who is worthy?
My political despair is mitigated by my confidence in the promise found in my ultimate future. Before I was old enough to vote for a president, I submitted an absentee ballot in the election that matters most: “Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they were saying: ‘Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!’ ” (Revelation 5:11-12).
My gift to you today: put yourself somewhere that you can plug in some ear buds – or, close the door and crank up the auxiliary sound on your laptop – and invest about four minutes that will soothe your soul. Chris Tomlin asks the question: watch this video to hear the answer…
Waiting for that day,