So the other week, I found myself practically yelling at a family member over the political situation. By situation, I mean Donald Trump. Sure, I was probably a little hangry that hour of the day, but being a lover of Jesus and all, my immature, angry and rude response was unjustified (*cough* 1 Corinthians 13). Anyways, shame flooded over me a few moments later and I felt absolutely ridiculous that I had let something political shake my ability to communicate in love. I ate some dinner, apologized, then forgot about it until this morning.
This morning, I read Jesus’ words in John 18: “My kingdom is not of this world.” My heart began to ache for the Church in America. Like someone just set of a firecracker, clarity flashed in my mind. The political scene is distracting, sidetracking, and disgracing the Church in America. I wondered what Jesus would say if he walked in on one of the political conversations amongst Christians I’ve overheard the past few weeks.
Then Holy Spirit said it: Would you wash Donald Trump’s feet?
Would you wash the feet of this man who owns strip clubs, makes sexual comments about his own daughter, and appears in PlayBoy magazine?
It’s such a Jesus like question. Jesus knows the hearts of men so well. In Mark 12, he told his disciples to pay the Roman tax, because he knew they wanted to him to say no! In Matthew 8, he heals the daughter of a Roman centurion—a Roman who was aligned with the oppressive system of his day. His Jewish supporters would have been shocked, and probably angry! Remember that part where Jesus talks about walking two miles with someone if they ask you to go one? That was also political. Roman soldiers would force Jewish citizens to carry their gear for a mile. It was a humiliating and oppressive practice. But Jesus said to go two miles! The guy is CRAZY. He’s nuts. He asks us to love enemies and to serve those who are of different and even damaging political structures! And I’m utterly convinced that He would ask the Church of America if she could wash the feet of Hillary, Bernie, Trump or Cruz.
Regardless of your political viewpoints and alliances, if you are a follower of Jesus, your first and highest allegiance is to Him. To Jesus himself. Your priorities are to be His priorities. The model of his life, yours. The heart of his actions, yours. Most of our political anxiety is a result of misplaced hope. Your hope is NOT in a changed American government, though that is a noble thing to labor for. Your hope is ultimately in the fact that, through Jesus, love wins the day. Sacrifice, servitude, kindness, and meekness win the day. While I am not encouraging anyone of us to call evil, good or good, evil, I am encouraging us to check our hearts in the heat of politics.
Often, in the Church, most of our political involvement is about being against things and against people. Now, maybe there aren’t people to be for. Valid point. However, let me caution you against devoting all of your emotional and mental energy to a kingdom that will one day bow to Jesus’ kingdom. Everything will one day be tested by the heat of Jesus’ gaze. Be involved in politics as you are led, but be reminded: foot-washing will stand, facebook posts won’t.