A Sad Psalm

First in a series of dried river bed rocks that have facial expressions at sunrise and sunset time periods.

Whether you love or hate election season, there’s one benefit of it for Christians of all political stripes. All of the negativity and frightening scenarios can make you step back and evaluate what kingdom you belong to. Everyone belongs to a kingdom. But there is only one kingdom that is worth belonging to.

Here’s what life in the kingdom of God looks like, regardless of election results.

A Psalm for giving thanks.

Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth!
Serve the LORD with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!

Know that the LORD, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!

For the LORD is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations. Psalm 100 (ESV)

This Psalm gives us no promises of better jobs or free college tuition. It points to something better. Joy. Gladness. Purpose. Belonging. Hope. Future. Love. Faithfulness.

Forever.

But sometimes that’s not enough for us. So we decide to live our lives for another kingdom. Rather than the kingdom of Christ, we devote ourselves to the Kingdom of America or our favorite political party. If we were to write our own version of Psalm 100 it would probably look something like this.

A Psalm for giving thanks.

Make a joyful noise to America, all the earth!
Serve her with gladness!
Come into its presence with singing!

Know that America, it is God!
It makes us who we are, and we belong to it;
we are its people, and the sheep of its pasture.

Enter its presence with thanksgiving,
and sing of it with praise!
Give thanks to it; brag about it!

For America is good;
its steadfast love endures forever,
and its faithfulness to all generations. 

How’s that for a sad Psalm? As Christians, we know that our identity runs deeper than what our passport says. Paul was a Hebrew of Hebrews who belonged to the tribe of Benjamin and he counted it all as nothing compared to life in the Kingdom of Christ. You might be American by birth and southern by the grace of God but you still need to reach the same conclusion that Paul did. Otherwise, you’ll be let down in a major way.

For the record, I love America. I like singing some patriotic songs. I think highly of those who defend our nation. I love watching our country’s national anthem during international sporting events. And as Christians, we should be politically engaged. We should pray for our nation and its leaders. We should work to make America a better place. But when our voices and efforts are drowned out by big money elites and godless authoritarians, we must not get discouraged. Rather, we must remember that we are visitors here. There’s a better home awaiting us.

Everyone belongs to a kingdom. But only one kingdom is worth belonging to. Unlike any other kingdom, the Kingdom of Christ does not need to be made great again. Sometimes we just need to step back so that we can see how great our true Kingdom is.

image credit