Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Soul authority

Today’s Reading: John 17:8-9 (NIV)

8 [Jesus said,] “For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. 9 I pray for them. I am not praying to the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours.”

Good morning!

Yesterday, the world watched as citizens from the United States lined up in mass numbers to cast a vote for their choice of Presidential candidate. I went to the polls at 6am and stood outside in the brisk, fall air, enjoying a glorious sunrise happening right before my eyes. I waited approximately ninety minutes to exercise my right to vote, along with hundreds of others, who had come for the very same purpose.

As I drove to my polling place, I was overwhelmed when I saw the crowd of people waiting in line at Faith Church. There were long lines of people standing outside, wrapping themselves around the perimeter of the church building. People were parked in the lot, on the yard next to the church, and along the sidewalk by the street. I couldn’t help but wish this were the case every Sunday morning! I wondered, “Why isn’t it like this every weekend? Where were all these people coming from?” One would think that people would want to line up for hours and wait so that they could receive Christ’s healing touch over their lives and the lives of their families. Folks should be flocking to their neighborhood churches to pray every week – every day! I’ve heard that there are Christian congregations in Mozambique where families travel for miles on foot, just to sit outside the walls of the church on Sunday and listen to the worship happening inside the church building. There is not enough room to hold everyone, and so they sit in the dirt outside the walls and worship there, all day long.

Why do we only seem to draw mass crowds of people into our churches on a Presidential election day once every four years? Christianity seems to be the best kept secret in town, and just between you and me, I don’t get it.

There is something truly comforting in the words Jesus prayed to His Father. Christ looks deep into the hearts of men, and He knows who we are and whose we are. He recognizes with certainty His flock, the sheep of His pasture. They follow Him everywhere, longing to draw even closer to their trustworthy Shepherd. Jesus prays for us, because He knows that we belong to Him.

I pray that you followed Christ yesterday to your polling place; that you sought Him out as you waited patiently in line, praying for the people who will lead our nation in the next four years, and for all those who stood around you, waiting to vote. The direction of our nation hinges upon the actions of those whom we have been elected to lead our country. Even more than this, I pray that you have made Jesus Christ your soul authority, trusting Him to lead our leaders, who will in turn, lead us.

Savior, like a Shepherd, lead us.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO


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