Scripture: Psalm 146
Key verses: (3-4) Do not put your trust in princes, in mortals, in whom there is no help. When their breath departs, they return to the earth; on that very day their plans perish.
Reflection: The key verses are a little too long for a bumper sticker but in this election season, they seem timely. The campaign ads, the speeches, the pundits — if you’re like me, you might be ready for this to be over even though we have weeks left!
Apparently through all of time, God’s people have struggled to trust God and instead have placed their trust in earthly rulers. Kings, dictators, presidents, emperors, prime ministers – the titles change but the truth that they are mortal doesn’t ever change. If we aren’t careful we might begin to believe that the next president, or senator, or governor will be our savior. We might be wrapped up in the present moment and lose perspective of faith. Our only hope is in the God of all creation. All other leaders are temporary and imperfect. That truth doesn’t mean we should avoid political participation. As Presbyterians we have a long history of engaging in politics as a way to honor the values of God’s kingdom. We should research the candidates carefully, consider their positions in light of God’s grace, and vote for those we believe will govern fairly. We do all of that knowing that ultimately our citizenship is in God’s kingdom and our only true lord is our God.
The psalm continues: “The Lord sets the prisoners free; the Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the strangers, he upholds the orphan and the widow but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.” How’s that for a campaign platform?
Prayer: O God, teach me to trust in you when I am frustrated with the politics of our era. Grant me wisdom and discernment as I listen to those around me. Give me a kingdom perspective that empowers me to be faithful. Through Christ I pray. Amen.
Author: Millie Snyder
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].