Last week Tuesday was an election day. I'm always relieved when the election is over. I think all the commercials and mailings and telephone calls and door to door people can be exhausting sometimes. Other people might like that sort of thing. 2 years from today, almost, is the presidential election. That will be intense.
What do you think about the governor, who's in charge of the state of Wisconsin? What do you think of the president who's in charge of the country? Some people look at our elected officials almost like they are gods - this one is the messiah, who will save us financially. That one is another messiah, and he will protect us and bless us. Some people get so excited about elections and politicians because they are looking for someone who can change the world for the better, almost like God.
During this time of the year, it is good to remember that no matter who is the governor and no matter who is the president, Jesus Christ is ultimately in charge of this world and in charge of your personal life. He is in charge of the federal government, and the president, he is in charge of the local government, and the governor, and while he does allow certain people to take positions of authority that maybe we don't like, Jesus is the ultimate authority and his will will be done. "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me," Jesus said.
Our reading for this week talks about that special day when it will very obvious that Jesus Christ is in charge. Let me read again from 1 Thessalonians 4: "For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God." Can you picture that moment? In this day and age when everyone is so distracted by their cell phones and devices and everyone is talking and chatting and it's getting harder and harder to get anyone's attention, imagine that moment when everything shuts down - all electronics, all electricity, all talking - it all shuts down - everyone shuts up, because the one who is in control is coming down from heaven. Can you picture that? You look up and there is Jesus Christ, and he doesn't really look the way you had pictured him. He looks better - he looks more heavenly, more perfect, more brilliant, more powerful than anything you had every pictured before. Can you imagine what that will be like?
And a loud sound fills the air and fills your head - it's the loud command, the voice of the archangel, the trumpet call of God - all these things you had learned about in religion class and in church are now actually coming true. You believed them, but now it's actually happening. Jesus is returning on Judgment Day.
Keep this picture in mind whenever there's an election. Remember who's really in charge when the world isn't the way you want it to be. Remember who's really in charge when you're life is difficult. This same Jesus we see coming down from heaven is the one who died on the cross for your sins. This same Jesus gives you his body and blood in the Lord's Supper. This is the one who listens to you when you pray, who forgives you all of your sins, and who loves you more than anyone else ever could. Jesus Christ your Savior is in charge, and he promises to work everything out - politics, health, grades, friends, government, you name it - he promises to work everything out, for your good, and for the good of those who follow him. All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to him. Let's pray…
Dear Lord Jesus, forgive us when we forget that you are ultimately in control of all things. Help us to keep this picture of Judgment Day in our minds, that someday you'll reveal yourself as the one who is and who has always been in control. Bless us with faith in you, and hope for the future. Amen.