Come together, right now, over me

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It’s a silly, nonsensical Beatles song (even George Harrison admitted that), but its most memorable line is the word for the church today: “Come together, right now, over me,” if by that we mean: Come together over Jesus.

We need to come together. Right wing, left wing, Republicans, Democrats, pro-life, pro-choice, pro-Israel, pro-Palestine, and backers of whatever candidate you want to back, or none, plus all of you who are not from America, but are watching this political circus over here … we need to come together right now over Jesus. We can, you know. We can be servants of Christ who disagree on how the country should be run and who should run it. We can do that because we are citizens of two kingdoms. One is the kingdom of this world to which America belongs; the other is the kingdom of God to which we belong.

It’s really not that hard to unravel. The only trouble we get into is when we confuse the two — when we think that the kingdoms of this world, of which America is one, can be used to advance the cause of the kingdom of God. It can’t happen because the kingdoms of the world operate on an entirely different power base than the kingdom of God. The kingdoms of the world, of which America is one, are “power over” based, as exemplified in wealth, numbers, military might, and political control; the kingdom of God is exemplified by sacrificial service, weakness, humility and love. It is what Gregory Boyd calls “power under.” It’s what Jesus demonstrated when He washed His disciples’ feet, and then told them (and us) to go and do likewise.

You can see why we can disagree over how to run a worldly kingdom, because, in the end, there will not be any worldly kingdoms left standing. They all will ultimately fail. Only the kingdom of God will prevail, but it will prevail, at least until Christ returns in power, from a power-under, turn-the-other-cheek, go-the-extra-mile, love-your-enemies, pray-for-those-who-persecute-you, peacemaking sort of position. Not the kind of thing that will get you elected in a power-over worldly government. (Jeb Bush tried to run as a servant leader and you can see how far that got him.)

But we who care about the kingdom of God don’t care about how far we get or don’t get in this kingdom, or how we agree or disagree on procedures, because we are working side-by-side in the kingdom of God for other goals: to look after widows and orphans, to lift up the fallen, to feed the hungry, to speak for those who have no voice, to rescue the victims of oppression, to welcome strangers, and extend grace and forgiveness to all as Christ has extended it to us; in other words: to represent grace turned outward to the world, and you can do all that as a Republican or a Democrat.

Come on people, whatever side you are on, and come together over Jesus. We have a kingdom to further, and it is not of this world. So go ahead and vote, debate, agree, disagree, even run for office if that’s what you feel called to do, but don’t do it like your life depended on it, because it doesn’t. Your life depends on what you do in and for the kingdom of God.

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8 Responses to Come together, right now, over me

  1. Kris Rudin says:

    John, that is awesome! Really clear explanation of the difference between America (worldly kingdom) and God’s kingdom! Keep preaching!

  2. Mark Seguin says:

    Dear Pastor John would like to thank-u 4 today’s Catch 4 it spoke right to my heart! 🙂

  3. Amen!!! We can become so short-sighted that it allows all the important things around us to just get washed away and then we are standing on barren ground. Guess what, there will be another election. And another. And another. And many of us will still be here. We’d sure better be more about God’s stuff instead of the latest slogan or issue being yelled about in a debate.

  4. Suzan says:

    This recent series of Catches reinvigorates and encourages me. Despite my frustration and occasional cynicism and fear about both the state of politics/governing and the state of the church in the US today, I believe God is up to something. It’s pretty hard to miss our brokenness. It’s like he’s shining a great big spotlight on our Pharisaical ways challenging us to see truth. I am hoping and trusting in the Lord that through this craziness we are compelled to make appropriate course corrections. Getting the planks out of our eyes can be painful and difficult, but worth the cost!

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