Many are asking, “Who can show us any good?” Let the light of your face shine upon us, O Lord. You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound. I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety. -Psalm 5:6-8
It’s election season and most people I know are non-plussed about the political situation in our country. It’s as though the left and right have finally pushed themselves so far from each other that our nation is pulling thin, stretched like gauze.
But there may be something of deep value hidden in this sense of exhaustion.
When I look at the front window of my house, I see tiny handprints and smudges, I notice the crack where the lawnmower picked up a rock and threw it against the glass. But when I look through the window, I see the wider world beyond — big blue sky, swaying palms, mossy live oak, life upon life upon life.
Many agree that a look at the fabric of our nation leaves the impression that our situation is dire — we might be pulling apart. But a look through the fabric, stretched as it is, may just reveal a glimmer of the light to come.
If we look past our nationalism, we see a kingdom.
The arrived and arriving kingdom that Jesus declared is a place of healing and hope for all people. Where the poor are elevated and the powerful gladly assume the role of servant; a kingdom with no borders to protect, no agendas to advance, save a deep and passionate love for the King and the marginalized. A kingdom that not only accepts refugees, but seeks them out and calls them blessed.
This is the kingdom we’ve been invited into, that we’ve been hard-wired to inhabit. And yes, today, we deal with the realities of this world that God so loves. We elect our leaders, we support them and pray for them. We respond with generosity and gratitude and humility to the incredible amount of safety and privilege we experience as residents of this nation.
But God help us if we get so lost in our politics that we no longer point to His kingdom.
“Who can show us any good,” the Psalmist asks; many in our country echo, “Who can make us great again?”
We see goodness in the grace of God. When His light pours in through our threadbare securities; when His greatness bankrupts our lesser ambitions and reveals:
Jesus didn’t die to secure our rights to a great nation.
He went to prepare us a place in His kingdom.
There is a great and growing dissatisfaction with the status quo in America. And this isn’t comfortable, but it might just be a peculiar grace.
And if we grab hold of this grace, or rather let it grab hold of us, we might be able to offer our world something that cannot be found anywhere else — Life in all it’s fullness.