Attentiveness: Jesus is Still on the Throne
Dr. Scott W. Sunquist
At times it seems like the pandemic will never end.
At times it seems like the election animosities will never end.
At times it seems like the Church will never be united.
At times we get so caught up in the anxiety, anger, and antagonisms of our nation, that we forget that we are part of something much, much greater: the Kingdom of God.
Soon we will be in a post-election and (sooner rather than later, please Lord!) a post-pandemic world. Can we now come together and affirm some truths that should unite Christians? Here are some issues that should unite us now and which will make Jesus smile.
- We will continue to repent and lament how we have allowed our politics to manipulate us, and how we as Evangelicals have not stood out as leaders for biblical social justice.
- We will continue to work to pray and struggle against racism in our churches and in our society and to encourage greater hospitality for the “strangers in our land” (Exodus 22:21f, 23:9, Leviticus 19:33f, 24:22, Deuteronomy 10:19, etc.).
- We will work together to support families and promote healthy marriages.
- We will work to reduce abortions in our communities and protect the sanctity of all human life.
- We will care about both global peace and a robust economy. Peace and jobs are both important for a healthy society.
- We commit ourselves together to church renewal, evangelism, and global mission in cooperation with our non-Western Christian brothers and sisters.
- We will work to make sure our churches and our country find ways to care for the most needy, and this means housing, food, health care, and safety. Jesus said, “In as much as you have done to the least of these….” and we will live into this truth.
As the election results are announced, many Americans will be wringing their hands, some may turn violent, and others will be cheering as if the election results will solve all of our problems.
However, let’s be radically Christian at a time that requires hope because no election result or political leader can be our ultimate hope. Through our unity in these aforementioned truths, the world will more closely resemble the Kingdom of Christ. Let us live out “your will be done on earth as in heaven” as we cut the chains of political identity and allow the image of God to again be polished using the rags of humility and holiness. Only the Gospel can bring about the transformation of people—including ourselves—and cultures.
Our neighbors, our nation, and the young people who are leaving the church need to, once again, see the image of God and the Kingdom of God in all of its humility and holiness. I repeat this so I will remember this couplet for myself and our seminary: in humility and holiness.
Jesus is still on the throne.
Scott W. Sunquist, the new President of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, writes a weekly blog, “Attentiveness” which is posted each Monday morning on the Gordon-Conwell web site. He welcomes comments, responses and good ideas.