by Clay Smith on November 02, 2020
April 09, 2021
There is a lot that I miss as a result of the pandemic. On the lighter side of life, I miss going to Busch Stadium and watching baseball in person. It’s weird to watch the game on TV and to see the stands empty. The stands are meant to be full! That is, except for in the centerfield section. Have you ever noticed that baseball stadiums keep that section empty? It is for a good reason, actually. If fans were allowed to sit in centerfield, they would be in the direct line of sight for the batter as he tries to watch the pitcher throw the ball toward home plate. It would be nearly impossible for the batter to see the ball through all of that background distraction. With centerfield empty, the batter is able to see clearly as he stands in the box and prepares to see the ball as it is thrown toward him.
Certainly, distractions have come our way this season. Endless adds for candidates can clutter our minds and hearts. Yet, we should all take advantage of the great privilege we have to elect our leaders. Please vote and prayerfully seek to discern the best candidates for the respective positions on the ballot. This can be tricky for us as Christians at times because we can often find ourselves looking at conflicting policies or characteristics between the options that we must choose from. But we ought not shy away from it.
Getting caught in the distractions also tend to take our eyes off of the fundamental truth of the bible—Jesus reigns! Yesterday at church, I called us to be a “purple” church as it relates the election. Not in the sense of us meeting somewhere in the middle (the combination of red and blue being purple). No, when I say we are a purple church, I am referring to the color of royalty. Our King, Jesus, is the King of Kings. There is no other name above his name, and every earthly king is ultimately subject to him. Every president, every mayor, every congressperson, every governor… they are all in place because the Lord allows it, and they are all ultimately under the one true King… whether they want to acknowledge it or not. The royal Kingdom of Jesus is our Kingdom. It is our first and primary allegiance. As we participate in the voting process, and even as some of us actively participate in various party affiliations, we must remember that our primary identity is not red or blue. It is purple.
At some point after Tuesday, when all the votes are counted, we will still be a “purple people.” No matter who wins any of the various local and national elections this week, and no matter how excited or discouraged you and I might be tempted to be, let’s remember that our King – the Ancient of Days - will still be seated on his throne in power and might. This is a wonderfully uniting principle in these divisive times. It can help us – all of us – to look across the political aisle and to love our fellow Christians who might vote differently. When we do so, it builds up our church family into a beautiful picture of the Body of Christ. And as the Lord does that work in us, would it not also be a light to the world around us? My heart aches at the divisiveness that seems to permeate so many facets of our nation in these days. But perhaps the Lord is forming us into a “purple people” so that in these difficult days, others might become curious about this Christ with whom we have to do.
In closing, friends, I’d like to invite you to pray with me for our church, our community and our nation in the days ahead. The scriptures (Romans 13 and 1 Peter 2 in particular) call us to honor our governmental leaders, and one way we can do that is to pray for them. Let’s also pray for the fabric of our church family in these coming days. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see the Lord draw us closer together – across political aisles – in this season? He can do that – let’s pray that he does! And as he does it, let’s pray that he would draw people in our community into our church and ultimately to himself because of the unusual unity that they find among us.
There’s no time like the present to pray – so we invite you to join us today at noon via Zoom for a special time of prayer around these matters. Here’s the link:
Meeting ID: 820 6178 1118
Thank you for being part of God’s transforming work at Central, my purple people!