This morning on the drive to work I made the mistake of turning on news radio. My hope had been to hear the local traffic and weather reports, but instead there was a story about a police officer shooting a man in Minnesota. That was followed by a story about several men shooting several police officers in Dallas. And then there was a story about a couple in Connecticut being asked to leave a restaurant because they were wearing t-shirts supporting a certain presidential candidate, and the restaurant owner said they weren’t welcome because of their political beliefs.
By the time the third story had finished, I had to turn the radio off. My stomach was upset, and I was feeling overwhelmed with sadness by the state of affairs in our country. It seems that everywhere we turn there are issues that are hurting people and dividing communities. And unfortunately, our public discourse has sunk to the level that it’s almost impossible to truly talk through the serious issues we all face. So with all of that rumbling around in my mind, I made the decision to turn on worship music for the remainder of my commute.
As I allowed the lyrics of these worship songs to adjust my perspective, I was reminded that the Kingdom of God will not arrive on Air Force One. It will not come through legislation. It will not come through force. And it will not come through protests. Instead, the Kingdom of God will come through His people living how He has called them to live.
Listen to how Paul talks about this very thing in 2 Corinthians 5:18-20, where he writes: “God has given us the task of reconciling people to Him - for God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. This is the wonderful message He has given us to tell others. We are Christ’s ambassadors.” If we want to change the world, the ultimate solution is to change the hearts of the people in the world - and only the gospel message of Jesus Christ can do that. Political positions can’t do it - laws can’t do it - the Republican party can’t do it - and neither can the Democrats.
The truth we need to keep in mind in the midst of all this social and political turmoil is that, if we want to change the world for good - if we want people to start caring about each other, and helping each other, and living by a moral code - then we need to introduce them to Jesus. And that’s because He’s the only one that can change their hearts - and a changed heart leads to changed behavior.
So today, as the world spins around us in chaos, let’s remember that we are called to be God’s representatives to this world. Through how we act and speak, the world will see what it means to belong to God - so let’s make sure we represent Him well, as we share the message of hope that this world so desperately needs, and that only our God can give.