Tag Archives: kingdom

Democracy

On Monday I voted in the municipal elections in South Africa. Because I am over sixty five, it was fairly pleasant. We were taken to the front of the queue for initial checking of documents then escorted to the door of the classroom where our section of the alphabet was voting. I don’t think we took longer than ten minutes.

I am able to vote because I live in a democracy. My husband and I reminisced about the first democratic elections in South Africa in 1994 when the queues snaked around the block and my husband waited six hours. We still had dependent children at that stage so I came and went with the children, keeping an eye on progress.

As a civic-minded gesture, Wimpy offered free coffee to every person who showed their marked thumb to prove they had voted.

The special ink leaked all the way around my nail and under it.

Just because South Africa is a democracy doesn’t mean it’s perfect. Far from it. In fact it seems that what the majority wants is not even close to what I want.

My ultimate citizenship is not in South Africa. Paul says, “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus, Christ.” (Phil 3:20 NIV)

Heaven is not a democracy. Its citizens do not vote on the way it is governed nor any policies. Its citizens have no rights except the right to be God’s children. (“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” John 1:12 NIV) All they have is gifted to them through God’s grace alone.

Heaven is a kingdom, with all authority and power vested in King Jesus. His word is law.

He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, (Hebrews 1:3 ESV)

That he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. (Eph 1:20-21 ESV)

Until I get to my home country, I am an exile, not quite fitting in with the customs and mores of this world. I am called to pray for my earthly rulers and authorities, for my country of residence for peace and prosperity.

My Prayer

Father God, when I feel alone and rejected in this world, please remind me that I am a citizen of heaven where love is the only language spoken and grace is the legal tender. Please bless South Africa and give her leaders wisdom and a knowledge of You. Amen.

The Embassy

In our fellowship group we are doing the Reframe course, run by Regent College.

Embassy

On Monday we discussed how being a Christian was like being an ambassador in a foreign country.  One of the things that struck me was that, if you are an ambassador, one of the requirements of the job is to learn the language and customs of the country to which you are sent. It is no use speaking “Christianese” to the world. Among ourselves at the Embassy, however, that is perfectly all right.

I have been pondering on this image and trying to relate it to my life.

the Embassy (the Church) is our mother-ship. It is where we find resources for our work, where we are encouraged, sometimes disciplined if we are acting contrary to our own country’s policies. Of course we also have to obey the laws of the country we are in while maintaining the customs of our home country.

My home country is actually more like a kingdom and if I want to do my job properly it would be a good idea to have a hotline to the king. Then every morning I could report for duty and get any special instructions for the day.

I got to thinking about what the main function of an embassy is. I have no first hand experience but I would imagine one of the prime functions is to support citizens from my home kingdom. They, too, are in a foreign country and, let’s face it, stuff happens.  My role as ambassador would be to help wherever I can.

Another function of the Embassy is to represent our kingdom and our king. As ambassadors, we have a certain amount of authority given to us. We can arrange passports for foreigners and other legal documents. We can pray in the name of our king and our petitions are heard. We can lead others to become citizens of our home kingdom.

Looking at life from this point of view, I am not doing very well. I have become so acclimatized to the foreign country that I don’t stand out at all. I go about my life very much making my own decisions as impulse takes me. It is time for a new mindset.  Please pray for me.