The Winner Is

As I write, the 2020 presidential election has been “over” for several days—sort of. Counting starts and stops; ballots appear and disappear; allegations summon judicial review. How ironic, then, that Americans who have been increasingly divided from a political perspective now find ourselves in the same position—suspicious, restless, hopeful, doubtful, and seemingly powerless. Moreover, the agita we share for this brief moment is not over some minor issue, but the critical matters of who will lead us forward and in what direction.

Then imagine being one of Jesus’ disciples during the empty three-day expanse between crucifixion and resurrection. He who you thought to be your Messiah is gone from your midst, and you have no idea where to go, what to do, or even how to survive in your leaderless world. Those of you who remain are gathered together “with the doors locked for fear”1 of the persecution that surely awaits. Even when several women come with news of your leaders’ empty tomb and an angelic encounter there, the report seems “like nonsense”2 in your state of despair. But then what was it the angels said to the women? “He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you . . .”3 It is enough to stir hope in at least one of you—Peter ran to the tomb and found it indeed to be empty, but “went away, wondering to himself what had happened.”4 Being without Jesus is not what you wanted, and resurrection is still a mystery. But these three days of not knowing are something you’ve endured together, a shared experience that ultimately strengthens bonds and builds faith.

As our election results solidify, some of us will go forward in joyful celebration, and others of us in utter devastation. Yet we must remain united in this: We look to the risen Messiah in a Kingdom not of this world. If our political candidate lost, it still remains true: “The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will.”5 And if our favorite candidate won, we must all the more look to Him who is our rightful King, for even those who espouse our views are deeply flawed people. Instead, may this be our hope: “I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.”6 God is sovereign. Christ is Lord. He lives in us. We have won.

Father, You reign over all, and our hope is in You. Send Your Spirit, that we would fix our eyes on You and follow as You lead us today. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

1 John 20:19
2 Luke 24:11
3 Luke 24:6
4 Luke 24:12
5 Proverbs 21:1 ESV
6 Psalm 121:1-2 ESV

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