Thursday, February 7, 2008

A Super Tuesday

The count is in and the race isn't over. While Senator John MaCain took a decisive victory for the Republican party, Democrats remain divided. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama remain in a close race that will likely stretch to the democratic primaries. Their race is the one to watch for two reasons. First, I'll be surprised if the next president isn't a democrat. The majority of Americans, right or wrong, are not in favor of the Bush administration. They want something different, as reflected in a Democrat congress. Second, the Republican race is all but decided. MaCain practically has the GOP nomination locked up. So, it's not really that important to pay attention to his "race."

Though I watched some of the Super Tuesday happenings and find the whole process interesting. Though I think it is important for people to be relatively informed about candidates, especially if they plan to vote. Despite all that, this post is not about who will be the next president.

This week (February 5-7) is "International Focus Week" at Ozark. The main focus of the week is missions. The theme this year is "Throne." How appropriate for an election year! On Tuesday, Dave Erickson, one of my favorite preachers, delivered a message from Revelation 5 about lamb who sits on the throne. To listen to his description of worship and how we need to appropriate the model and power of the slaughtered lamb was moving, convicting and worshipful. Erickson showed us that unless we begin to understand worship from heaven's perspective then we're going to miss the point. Worship is about the one who is worthy-- the slaughtered lamb. It was an important reminder about what it means to worship.

On Tuesday evening, another spirit-filled preacher, Shane Wood, delivered a sermon about the power of the throne. He pointed to the mundane fact that a throne is just furniture-- a chair. He keenly observed, however, that furniture can speak if we listen. He observed that what makes a throne is not that it is a chair, what makes a throne is who sits on it and where it's located. The throne in Revelation is occupied by "the one seated on the throne" (4.9, 10). Not a very helpful description. We don't really get the full picture of who is on the throne until chapter 5, but lets stay in chapter 4. I think part of the reason why we don't just get a name for "the one seated on the throne" is because he is unnamable. He is the mysterious one who sits on the throne. He is the one who defies our definition or our understanding. He is the creator of the universe to whom everything belongs and in whom everything finds its purpose and meaning. The throne is more than just a chair because upon it sits the creator of the universe (4.11), the one who is both "Lord and God."

Not only is the throne speaking because upon sits the "Lord and God," because lots of people have claimed to be "Lord and God," and lots more to come will (that is, if the true Lord and God allows). Roman emperors used the same title to talk about themselves. A Roman throne was quite impressive. Rome was the most glorious empire the world has ever seen. It stretched from the shores of England to Northern Africa, from Germany to the ivory coast. To sit on the throne in Rome is no small thing. The difference between the "Lord and God" in Rome and the "Lord and God" in Revelation 4 is the location of the throne. Rome's throne is on earth, the location of all evil thrones in Revelation (Rev 2.13; 13.2; 16.10). But the "Lord and God" of Revelation, his throne . . . well, I'll let you read where his throne is in Revelation chapter 4.

I woke up Wednesday morning after a super Tuesday. I was reminded of who really sits on the throne. Whether there is a democrat or a republican in Washington, there is only one true throne and the one who sits on it always has, does right now and always will. So, as the nation contemplates the polls and keeps its eyes on a tight race, let us contemplate in prayer and keep our eyes on "the one who sits on the throne."

1 comment:

Sara said...

i'm so happy you found our blog!!! i really liked this post of yours--isn't it funny that our elections are like a popularity contest (for the most part) and Jesus couldn't have cared less about being popular! his concern was to make a difference in people's lives and to give them truth, not to elevate himself! that's the King we serve, the one worthy of a throne... thanks for the reminder! btw, that picture of you and your beautiful wife is SO cute!! thanks for coming to z's bday party lastnight--you guys are awesome!