Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
CHRISTIAN PRESENCE IN NATION BUILDING
Key Verse: “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1st Timothy 2:5)
According to a 2020 web/paper survey by the Pew Research Center, 64% of adults in the U.S. identify as Christian. On the surface, this seems like an almost grandiose figure. A figure that can be encouraging to the faith community here in the U.S. However, a closer look at the numbers reveals a very pressing matter.
Faith, in general, has been on a steady decline for years now. In light of the ongoing pandemic, church attendance is at an all-time low. Is it unsurprising that this nation continues to fall into greater depravity as Christians increasingly backslide and fall out of frame? One mere glance at the headlines on the local news channel shows how precarious of a position we find ourselves in currently. In Paul’s letter to Timothy, he urges believers to pray for those who are in high positions. Why is this so? For one, leaders are individuals we turn to for guidance. There are policymakers in Congress who make laws that can potentially impact our daily lives. Additionally, there are judges whose responsibility it is to oversee the administration of justice. Ultimately, God’s will is for all leaders to submit to His authority. The impasse here is that not every leader is a Christian. In the same vein, not every “Christian” leader is faithful in his or her walk with Christ. There is quite a lot of room for human error in the grand scheme of nation-building. This is precisely where prayer comes into the picture.
If a powerful tool is kept in the toolshed, then its full power cannot be harnessed. In an effort to build our nations, we ought to start with what Paul urged Timothy to do – pray for our leaders. Through the ages, God has strategically placed His people in positions of authority in order to be able to enact change. Think of Daniel and his three friends in Babylon. Think of Joseph and the role he played in Egypt alongside Pharaoh. God used men and women, who were often discarded by others, to shape the decisions of the world's greatest rulers, thereby changing the direction of entire nations. Undoubtedly, this is the byproduct of hands folded and knees bowed in prayer.
God has given humankind the provision through which a nation can be built: Christ Jesus. As Paul writes, Jesus is the “one mediator between God and men” (1st Tim 2:5). He alone is the solution to every issue our nation experiences. A world without Christ’s agents of change is hopelessly lost. Likewise, a nation that has abandoned principles Christ laid out for His faithful is destined to fall into ruin. Not all hope is lost though. Even when a nation turns its back on God, He remains faithful and provides chance after chance for restoration. It all starts with the one mediator – Christ Jesus. Once we lean into who He is, then we can meaningfully pray for our nation and its leaders.
Lord at this time, we uplift in prayer the leaders of the nations in which you have placed us. Let them put aside vain ambition in the pursuit of heavenly aspirations. Only through Your Spirit’s conviction can this be accomplished. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Thought for the Day
How can we build a nation with Christian values? It starts within ourselves, our homes, and our communities. Let us all be active, prayerful participants in the building up of Christ’s Kingdom here on this earth.
, Epiphany Mar Thoma Church, New York