November 3, 2020
On Saturday morning, the moon hung bright in the sky as dawn approached. It generates no light of its own, and still it is a sight to behold as it reflects sunlight onto the Earth. May we endeavor to be like the moon and boldly reflect the light and love of the Son into the world.
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. +Timothy 2:1-4
The election is upon us. If you have been following along with us in the daily Scripture meditation, we have reached the final topic of reflection… revival. This is what we have been moving towards and yearning for. We want our nation to be awakened, to be transformed by the Holy Spirit. The verse from our prompts for the week from 1 Timothy struck me when I read it. Timothy was helping the Christian church in Ephesus at the time Paul wrote this letter. One of the major problems in the Ephesian church was heresy.
There were different teachings, things were getting confusing. Divisions were forming. Does any of this sound familiar? This church was going to have to address the incorrect teachings and practices in the congregation. They needed to return to their roots, to their beginning, to Jesus. They needed a bit of revival. Our nation seems to be in a similar state. There are different teachings, different groups all claiming to have the right answers. Just as in Ephesus, things have become quite confusing. This practice of praying for our nation is a way of calling for that bit of revival we all need. But how is that achieved?
Paul gives clear, yet challenging instructions. First – he urges that “petitions, prayers, intercessions and thanksgiving be made for all people.” Have we been doing that for the last thirty some-odd days? Have we given thanks and prayed for both candidates in the election? Have we petitioned on behalf of all the citizens of this country, not just those who agree with us?
The problem with Ephesus was they had divided and were serving and looking after their own half. Their acts of service and prayers likely reflected their particular affiliations. As outsiders looked to the Ephesian church during that time, I wonder how much of God’s light they saw. In this time of fear, anger and uncertainty, how much of God’s light is being reflected now? As our prayers of revival are answered, perhaps others will notice a move toward 1 Timothy in which actions are taken that encompass all people.
This is an incredible challenge. In the next few weeks, our nation will not be in agreement. Neither were the matters of heresy in Ephesus cleared up in a month or two. What can we do? We begin with prayer, earnestly petitioning for all people, all God’s children. When we do that, we reflect a little more of God’s light. Enough of us do that, and the world becomes a bit brighter. Then, who knows, it might be bright enough for us to see a common path forward. May this path be one of peace and justice, one that leads to the Kingdom of God on Earth as it is in heaven. May all that begin with us and our prayers and petitions.
Grace and peace,