I have no desire to offer any further commentary on the recent SCOTUS decision regarding same-sex marriage and the implications it may or may not have on the church in America. Based on the news feeds and social media accounts I follow, many pulpits devoted their time last Sunday to preaching about this issue and hopefully clarifying what the response of Christians should be.
I only want to remind us of something that was pointed out to me by a missionary friend recently home from a five year assignment in another part of the world.
In Luke 24, we find the story of two disciples returning home after the death and burial of Jesus. While walking, a fellow traveler meets them unexpectedly. When he questions their despondency, they answer with indignation ”…we were hoping he was the One who was about to redeem Israel…, “ and they chastised their new friend for being so out of touch with what was going on.
Apparently, what they meant by “redeem Israel” was that they expected the Messiah they had found to fix what was wrong with their present condition. They seemingly thought Jesus had come to set up His Earthly Kingdom and make every wrong and injustice disappear. We have the benefit of 2000 years of perspective and know they had misunderstood what Jesus was here to do. He had not come to set things right for Israel in the here and now. He was after the souls of humanity for eternity.
So why do we seem to expect the same thing now for America? Jesus has not come to perpetuate our nation and make our culture more acceptable to our values. His prize is much more significant that that.
I’ve got my own questions about our nation and what is happening. But, I am more convinced than ever that He is alive and at work in the world. Many are praying for His Spirit to fall on our land. This decision just might be part of the answer. If we believe what He told us, we can only assume that it is.
Once Jesus had explained it all to the Emmaus road disciples and they realized He was with them, they ran back to Jerusalem to worship Him with other disciples. And Jesus revealed Himself to them again!
So, Christian, don’t walk despondently toward Emmaus because of a changing culture. Run back into His presence and celebrate the reality that the Kingdom He is building will last longer than all governments and cultures.
Jesus is on His throne. And that’s why we worship Him.
Mike Harland is the Director of LifeWay Worship. When he’s not directing 30+ employees, you’ll find him leading worship at various churches around the country, writing/arranging worship songs and/or, writing his next book. In his spare time, he loves playing basketball and spending time with his family. Mike can be found on Twitter @MikeHarlandLW and on facebook.com/Mike.Harland.37.