Advent – The King has Come and is Coming
2 Pray for kings and everyone who is in authority so that we can live a quiet and peaceful life in complete godliness and dignity. 3 This is right and it pleases God our savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:3-4 CEB
These verses might seem like odd verses for a post about Advent. We are living in a tumultuous time here in the United States politically. Recent events have shown how deeply our nation is divided politically. I have watched religious leaders call for prayer for our President. Some of those leaders have almost equated salvation with the political party of the President. This has troubled me greatly.
As I have reflected on this I was drawn to how much our current world is very similar to the world when the Messiah first came. The world into which Jesus was born was a time of great anticipation for a Messiah to come and set the people free from the political oppression that they were living under.
The Messiah who came did not live up to their expectations. He was born in a humble situation, not in a palace. He didn’t grow up to be a great military leader or political. Jesus preached about grace and mercy, not about a political overthrow of the government. Jesus preached about transformed lives not keeping checklists of all the good that we do.
Jesus was not the type of messiah that the people were looking for, but he was the Messiah that was needed. Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us came to redeem His creation. He came so that we might be redeemed and transformed by the power of God. Paul wrote “if anyone is in Christ, that person is part of the new creation. The old things have gone away, and look, new things have arrived!” (2 Corinthians 5:17). As Christians, we are a part of something new, yet something that goes back to the very beginning when humankind was created in the very image of God. Jesus came so that the old things, the sin that has damaged humankind is defeated and we are re-created.
Many people in the church are looking for political solutions. They look at this political leader or that political leader as the solution for all our problems. The problem is they are looking in all the wrong places.
Paul wrote that we are to pray for kings and those in authority over us. That means we pray for the President, the Speaker of the House, the Majority Leader of the Senate, the Governors and all the leaders in authority over us.
1 – “so that we can live a quiet and peaceful life in complete godliness and dignity.” When our nation is at peace then we can live lives of godliness and holiness. We pray for our leaders so that we can live in peace in complete godliness and dignity. There is a benefit when we pray for our leaders and it impacts us spiritually.
2 – The second and biggest reason is this, it pleases God who wants everyone to be saved! Our salvation is not found in some political leader, it is based on God who came to bring salvation to us. When we are living in peace and holiness then we have the opportunity to share the good news of Jesus.
The King has come, Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us. He came and ushered in the Kingdom of God. He is coming again, not as a tiny baby, but as the King of kings and Lord of lords. Between now and then we have the responsibility of sharing that Good News.
There is a prayer from the Book of Common Prayer that would be good to pray
O Lord, our heavenly Father, the high and mighty Ruler of the universe, who dost from thy throne behold all the dwellers upon earth; Most heartily we beseech thee, with thy favour to behold and bless thy servant THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, and all others in authority; and so replenish them with the grace of thy Holy Spirit, that they may always incline to thy will, and walk in thy way. Endue them plenteously with heavenly gifts; grant them in health and prosperity long to live; and finally, after this life, to attain everlasting joy and felicity; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.