I am sitting in the airport in Washington D.C. waiting for a connecting flight that will take me on to Nigeria for another Gospel Crusade (beginning on Wednesday the 21st). It is just 2 days before the presidential inauguration that will take place just a few miles from here, where an estimated 2 million people are expected to attend.
Barack Obama’s face is plastered EVERYWHERE I look. Posters, mannequins, books, pin-on buttons, and T-shirts are on sale in every shop…not to mention the complete Obama saturation of every news network being played here. It is obvious that there is an enormous swell of optimism surrounding this new administration, but I think it is so much more then that. To me, it seems as if people are looking to Obama as a Messiah…a savior of sorts; and for this reason I think I feel bad for him. How can any man live up to such unreasonable expectations? Proverbs 13:12 says, “Hope differed makes the heart sick…”
I must admit that I do not understand this sort of naive certitude in the ability of one man to rectify the problems of an entire nation, and in some cases, the world. When Obama was elected several weeks ago, I was in Nigeria watching an African news report where one woman from Kenya was rejoicing because now, she said, they would have new roads and running water, etc. As misguided as this quixotic optimism is, I have also seen similarly inappropriate reactions from the other side of the aisle. Some Christians are so distraught by this election that they are declaring the end of the world. Both reactions are wrong, because they put such consummate reliance in the abilities and character of one man…the President of the United States.
Christians in America find themselves in a sensitive position. On the one hand we need to take seriously our unique responsibility to influence the government of our nation in a positive way. In that sense we need to be involved politically. On the other hand, we must remember that our kingdom is not of this world, and our King does not rule from the White House. On the one hand, it is good to be patriotic, but on the other hand we need to remember that all the kingdoms of this world will pass away…including the United States. In Revelation 11:15 we get a glimpse into the near future as we hear the seventh angel declare, “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ; and He shall reign forever and ever.” It is that eternal Kingdom that we are invested in, and all of our hope lies in it’s King.
Paul says of Jesus in 1 Tim 1:1 that “…He is our hope.” With the inauguration of President Obama some people will put great hope in what they see as the dawning of a new day, while others will grieve over what they see as the beginning of the end. But for Christians, our hope does not rest in the Democratic party…or in the Republican party or Independent party for that matter; our hope is in Jesus. I am so tired of supposed prophets who, in the face of economic and political uncertainty have started prophesying out fear. I have no feelings of doom and gloom. Today is the day of Salvation!
So many people are embracing Obama as a sort of Messiah, and I believe it is because because the whole world is looking for a savior. The Good News is that a Savior has been found. He is the only One we see hanging between the two criminals on the cross, suspended between Heaven and earth. He is the only One between God’s wrath and the human race. He is the only Intermediary, the only Advocate and the only Mediator. He is the Savior that hundreds of thousands of people will embrace in just a few days as we preach the Gospel in Nigeria. He is the Savior that the world is looking for: One who has a proven track record of restoring hope and mending hearts in Billions of lives.
This inauguration day, you have something to celebrate. Regardless of who is sitting in the White House…Jesus is sitting at the right hand of the Father! His Kingdom is coming! And He shall reign forever and ever!