Jesus is Lord, Caesar is Not: I Voted for Kodos
Jesus is Lord, Caesar is Not, Part 2: I Voted for Kodos
Lay Down Control and Grasp Onto Trust
By Cameron Silsbee
Begin with Scripture and prayer
Gather together as a Community in a comfortable setting. Make sure everyone has something to write on or take notes with. Have somebody slowly read Ephesians 4v1-6 over the group, and then have someone pray over your time together as a group.
Read this overview
All political ideologies diagnose perceived problems with the nation, and offer solutions to those problems. It’s then up to the individual voter to decide whose diagnoses and solutions are the best.
God, through the story of the Scriptures, also diagnoses problems and offers solutions. But these are often counterintuitive and on a much larger scale than just local or national politics. Political ideologies cater to quick fixes, simplified solutions, and apocalyptic rhetoric in order to motivate people to support its positions and accept its view of reality. God, on the other hand, tells a story about justice and redemption in a broken and corrupt world.
As followers of Jesus we are called to accept and trust the way in which God sees the world and how he operates in it even when it isn’t fully clear how it will work out, or when it comes into conflict with our personal political preferences. One of the ways we can practice this and grow in this area is through entrusting our entire lives to God through prayer.
Talk through the following discussion questions:
PLEASE NOTE: This practice is not an appropriate space to discuss and debate politicians and policies. Please demonstrate a willingness to hear from your community without correcting, demeaning, arguing, or inserting your opinion. As you read from Paul earlier, “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”
- Reflect for a moment on your attitude about the future over the last month. Do you find the current political environment influencing your attitude? If so, in what way (e.g. fear, hope, dread, cynicism, excitement, etc)?
- At this time in your life, how much of your life and its outcomes seem like something you have direct control over? Are you comfortable with the prospect of having little control over your life?
Spend some time in listening prayer.
Take time as a group to pray through three areas of your lives: Personal, Relational, and Political. For each area of your life, silently pray to Jesus, entrusting specific things in each area to him. If you’re comfortable using your imagination while you pray, picture yourself symbolically giving Jesus specific things/people over to him as a gesture of trust.
The act of entrusting oneself to Jesus is not for a guarantee of positive outcomes in all things, but instead that Jesus is trustworthy to work for goodness in one’s entire life, not allowing evil, brokenness, and suffering to be the defining things in a follower’s life.
When everyone has something to take notes with, have someone invite the Spirit to lead your time together. Ask Jesus to speak into each area of your life, one at a time, pausing a few minutes for each one. As you pray, write down what specific things come to mind and any strong emotions you have as you entrust these things/people to Jesus.
Personal: think about your hopes, dreams, future, and present desires. Think about your particular wiring and giftings. Entrust these things to Jesus.
Relational: think about the most important people in your life by name. Entrust their wellbeing and your relationship with them to Jesus.
Political: think about the justice causes, policies, and political outcomes that may be important to you. Entrust all of these to Jesus.
When you’ve worked through all three aspects, have someone close your time by thanking Jesus for his presence with you.
Discuss the coming week’s Practice
This week, take time to practice Lectio Divina (see below if you are unfamiliar with this practice) through these three texts:
Day one: Romans 8v31-39
Day two: Hebrews 12v1-3
Day three: Revelation 21v1-5 (if you’re new to the book of Revelation, watch this video before reading)
These are the steps of Lectio Divina:
Read: Slowly and carefully read the text to yourself. Take your time. As you move through the text, pay close attention to what words and ideas draw your attention in unique ways. When your focus is drawn to a particular word or thought, pause momentarily to reflect on them.
Reflect: Upon completing the passage, return to the beginning and read again. On your second time through the text, allow it to connect with you personally. Which words or phrases assume a particular significance in your heart, your season of life, or your relationships? Write these down.
Respond: Talk to God about your experience. If you’re confused, say that. Moved? Express gratitude to God. Upset? Tell him about it. If the text has brought something else to mind, talk to God about that.
Rest: Finish your time by sitting quietly in God’s presence. You might express wonder, awe, gratitude, or praise through words, or you might allow yourself to feel and experience these things in silence before God.
Close in prayer