Grace and Election (presidential and otherwise)
And then there were four.The winnowing continues and post-Super Tuesday, we’re down to four contenders for two presidential nominations. Okay, Ron Paul fans, I know there may be five, but I’m afraid your guy just might not make it.
The answer to the question is “yes.”I just don’t know the details.The question, of course, is “should there be some kind of campaign finance reform?”Poor, well not really, Mitt Romney spent $654,000 for each delegate he won in his failed bid for the presidency.And pity Rudy Giuliani who, $48 million later, leaves the store empty handed.(You can read all about it here)Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama have each raised over $100 million and for one of them it will be all for naught.
Who can afford the financial burden, let alone the emotional and relational costs, of election to the world’s most powerful office?
The Bible also knows about election and its burdens and cost. In the magnificent eighth chapter of his letter to the Romans, Paul speaks to the burden and cost of election. “Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect?” he asks. It is a rhetorical question, for the answer has been given. If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son butgave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? The cost of our election makes $100 million a laughable pittance. And, as has been said so many times, the cost per disciple is always the same. God’s gift of his own son.
Our election has been won and now we humbly claim the confidence that we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Thanks be to God!
There’s another election taking place this coming week. On Sunday we elect officers to serve Christ in various positions in our church – elders, deacons, trustees and others. In some ways it hardly seems like an election. The Nominating Committee brings a slate of nominees to us, one for each office, and rarely is the slate challenged. Someone usually moves to close the nominations and cast a unanimous ballot. But then in April when we ordain and install these new officers, we will say they have been “chosen by God through the voice of this congregation to lead us in the way of Jesus Christ.” God works among us and through us.
We spend less than $100 million on our elections, but their eternal consequences can be profound. See you Sunday at the annual meeting.
148 years ago our nation elected one of its greatest men to the office of president. This week we celebrate his birthday. I have come across this article in the current edition of World Magazine that helps explain some of Lincoln’s greatness. I’d encourage you to read it.
Those of you who have visited my study know that I have an old schoolhouse portrait of Abraham Lincoln hanging on the wall. I bought it for $5 at a church rummage sale thirty years ago. I’ve been offered more for it since then, but it’s not for sale. It is a reminder to me that our God is always at work in our world, always bringing his just and good purposes to full fruit, always calling men and women to know him and serve him.