Our Hope Is Not In The Vote
By Fin Sheridan
It’s Election Day! Whether you’re interested in politics or you couldn’t care less, there’s no denying that the events of today will significantly steer our country one way or another. All across the nation, people will be casting their votes, hoping that their preferred candidate, party or ideology will emerge victorious.
How do you choose who to vote for? There’s been a lot of discussion about ‘policies vs personalities’ over the last few weeks – do you vote for the person you like the most or do you vote for the changes and decisions that they’ll make? Our superficial culture has been struggling with this because we have trained ourselves to make shallow judgements rather than thoughtful decisions.
It’s not a clear cut decision for Christians either. I am friends with die hard Conservative voters whose family members will be voting for Labour. Don’t let anyone tell you that “voting for X is the Christian choice” because that’s simply not true.
Every time election season rolls around, whether here or the USA, I’m reminded that my hope cannot be in a political scenario. Christians should vote – it’s a gift from God to live in a democratic society – but we cannot rest our peace on the ballot box.
“As Christians, we aren’t pursuing a kingdom of this world but an eternal kingdom, that doesn’t operate according to the power structures of man.”
There’s a moment with Jesus and his disciples that has become more and more significant for me, whenever it is time to vote. It’s in Acts 1:6, after Jesus has risen from the dead. The disciples, thrilled by the return of their leader, ask him eagerly “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”. Jesus replies with something totally different – he promises the Holy Spirit and tells them that they are going to be his witnesses across the world.
Effectively, Jesus was telling them that through them, he was establishing a different kingdom – not the fortunes of Israel, not political upheaval against Rome, but a supernaturally empowered movement that would spread from “Jerusalem… to the ends of the earth.”
As Christians, we aren’t pursuing a kingdom of this world but an eternal kingdom, that doesn’t operate according to the power structures of man. The appointment of kings and authorities is ultimately in the hands of God (Daniel 2:21) and our allegiance is not to the political systems of this world but to the kingdom of heaven.
Today, as you vote (please, vote!) remember that, no matter the outcome, our hope is not in the vote but in the power of the Spirit and the purposes of the Kingdom that is growing and expanding every day.