The 2022 midterm elections have now been in our rear-view mirror for eight days. I am always glad when Election Day has come and gone. This round was no exception. Like me, you may have grown sick and tired of all the campaign advertisements that we saw in the newspaper, on television, on the radio, and on the Internet. I couldn’t press the mute button or change the station quickly enough. I am so glad it’s over…for now…until the 2024 campaign gets started.
I don’t know which way you lean politically, nor do I need to. Your political ideology isn’t relevant to this week’s column—and neither is mine. We are focusing on life after the election. To this end I pose a few questions for you to consider: Did your candidates win? If you stayed up late watching election returns, were you satisfied with what you saw or heard? And did the ballot measures you voted on have the same results you desired?
However you answered those questions, it’s to be expected not all of “our guys” win; that’s inevitable in any election, regardless of where we stand politically. What is important is how we respond to the results. Where do we go from here? As I taught my Bible class on Sunday, when Wednesday morning came we still had roofs over our heads; we still had clothes to wear; and we still had food to eat. We still do today. For this we get to thank God for taking such good care of us, for filling all our needs of both body and soul.
You see, no politician, office holder, or bureaucrat is capable of taking care of our many and various needs. We ought not place blind trust in these people; we are to trust solely in God to satisfy our needs. He will work through these people, but we cannot with a clear conscience place our unconditional trust in them. Like us, they too are sinners and will let us down. God, however, will not. As the Psalmist writes: “Do not put your trust in princes, nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help. His spirit departs, he returns to his earth; in that very day his plans perish” (Psalm 146:3-4), and again: “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes” (Psalm 118:8-9). God has promised to hear the prayers of His people (Christians). While He may not give you the answer you want, He will most certainly hear and answer your prayers offered up to Him through His Son, Jesus Christ, giving you what you need.
As we pray to God, we also have the opportunity to pray for those in office, that they would govern and legislate for the good of all people under their watch. Praying for our secular leaders has long been part of the Church’s prayer life. In the classic Litany, the Church prays God “to give to all peoples concord and peace; to preserve our land from discord and strife; to give our country Your protection in every time of need; to direct and defend our President and all in authority; to bless and protect our magistrates and all our people.” We are to pray for our leaders, regardless of their ideologies. They need our prayers. We need to pray for them for the sake of peace in our land. The “D” or “R” or “I” (or any other letter) after their names is irrelevant. In addition to praying for peace in our land, we are to pray that those who govern us would do so in a manner pleasing to God, upholding what He has commanded. Saint Paul encourages us thus: “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior” (1 Timothy 2:1-3).
Regardless of who is in office (or who is newly elected) and regardless of whether we voted for them or not, regardless of where they stand politically, we are not going to agree with any of them 100% of the time. They will inevitably disappoint us at some point. So while we may support a politician, we cannot—and dare not—place more trust in them more than we do in God. They will disappoint you, but God will always remain faithful to His promises and to His people. Trust Him to care for you, to provide for all your basic needs, for He loves you so much He sent His Son Jesus Christ to die for you—Christ, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Scripture says: “The Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes” (Revelation 7:17).
In conclusion I leave you with these two thoughts:
1) Have the elephant, donkey, or dark horse let you down? Follow the Lamb anyway.
2) Regardless of who is president, governor, senator, or congressman, Jesus Christ is still the King!
Mark Schlamann is pastor of First Lutheran Church in Tooele.