It's been a long month.
And it's only November 9.
Like a surreal, arthouse film, time slowed down last week as we waited.
And waited for the election results.
For many, the delay did nothing but increase anxiety. For others, something else multiplied across America this past week — Christmas trees.
With no apologies to Thanksgiving, trees, yard-lights, and Christmas music sprang to life, dazzling our senses.
While there may be a few traditional curmudgeons protesting Christmas trees on November 1, most folks get it.
And why not give 2020 the proverbial middle-finger wrapped in twinkle-lights? Why not at least try, as one of my friends put it, to:
"Make November great again." - Jamus Edwards (Source)
An oppressive electoral process has led many to preemptive Christmas cheer.
But why would even the strongest advocates for no Christmas festivities before Thanksgiving toss out the stuffing and put up the stockings?
Putting Christ Back in Christmas — in November
The same story plays out every four years (albeit it was a little more intense this time). Political candidates make messianicish promises to save America.
And Americans eat it up.
We suspend our judgment and hope for wide-spread change. And this is nothing new.
Israel gravitated toward entrusting their deliverance to surrounding governments. This misplaced trust never worked out.
However, they kept trusting the visible powers that be over the quieter working and power of God.
Into these deep longings for deliverance and in the shadow of the superpower Rome, Jesus was born. The one true deliverer came, not to crush Rome but to be crushed by it (Isaiah 9:6).
Election polls and Christmas trees have one thing in common — a deep longing for a legitimate Savior.
The Savior we want and need
Jesus' disciples regularly thought he'd be a different kind of Messiah. Some even propose that Judas betrayed Jesus thinking he could kickstart the revolution.
Even after Jesus' resurrection and forty days of teaching, the disciples still wondered when they'd take down Rome.
So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” - Acts 1:6
I guess we all want a triumphant King and Kingdom. God's Kingdom is much subtler than this. Jesus works in power through His Spirit as we live quiet, intentional lives of witness (Acts 1:8).
Jesus is the deliverer we want and need, but He rarely saves in the way or timing we prefer.
Put your hope in Christ
The election is over. You may be celebrating or lamenting the results. Either way, let your hopes rise with every Christmas tree you see.
Politics and policies are important, but they cannot save you.
Though the earth melts away, you have a Kingdom that cannot be shaken (Hebrews 12:28). Although you’re prone to put your trust in government, the Lord your God is ready to save (Psalm 20:7). And all it takes is for you to be still (Exodus 14:14).
From that place of stillness and salvation, you can live differently as the people of God — kind of like it's Christmas in November.
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