Let me state clearly from the start that this is a spiritually focused article, not a politically focused article (and certainly not a partisan political article). Let me also state clearly that this article is not meant to attack any individuals, although I will be speaking quite directly about individuals.
Instead, the purpose of this article is to make a spiritual point, specifically, to understand the spiritual implications of this unique moment in our country’s history.
At present, the two leading presidential candidates for 2024 are current President Biden, now 80, and former President Trump, now 77.
As for Trump, he is the only president in our history to be impeached twice, although his defenders would surely argue that both impeachments were based on bogus charges. Plus, they would remind us, he survived those impeachment efforts. In any case, there was constant turmoil during his years in office.
As for Biden, there are growing calls for his impeachment, regardless of how plausible those calls might be.
When have we seen something like his in our history?
In addition to this, Trump has been indicted not once, but twice, with rumors swirling of a potential third indictment. Is it possible that a former president could actually do time in jail?
As for Biden, his son Hunter appears to be in ever increasing legal trouble, with the genuine possibility of jail time.
Unfortunately for President Biden, some of the allegations brought against his son potentially impugn him.
Could the current president be indicted as well?
Again I ask, when have we seen something like this in our history?
Added to this are the growing concerns about President Biden’s physical and mental fitness. (And who can forget the constant attacks on then President Trump, calling his mental fitness into question?)
Then, on Wednesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, himself 81, froze for about 20 seconds while speaking at his weekly press conference, triggering immediate concerns about his own health. He was led away by his colleagues without saying another word.
It was a distressing and scary scene to watch.
Personally, I hope that Biden, Trump, and McConnell live out their days with physical and mental vigor. May they all have many years of wellbeing ahead of them! The last thing on my mind – really, the thought is deeply offensive – is to take some kind of satisfaction in seeing someone on the other side of the political aisle suffer physically or mentally.
Also, since I am full of vigor and health and vitality and energy at 68, I recognize that 80 does not have to be that old. So, I’m not yelling for people to retire or get out of the way unless they are clearly unable to function on the job, thereby endangering others.
As for the charges and allegations concerning Trump and the Bidens, I have no ax to grind or agenda to push. I simply pray for equal standards of justice for all. And if there is guilt, my prayer is that there will be heartfelt acknowledgment of wrongs done along with genuine contrition and repentance.
In sum, I’m not rooting for anyone to fall, nor am I gloating when things look grim for someone whose political goals I reject.
I simply write this to say that all these things create a real feeling of insecurity and uncertainty, as if everything is old and crumbling, as if nothing is stable or trustworthy, as if no one is clean.
On a certain level, it’s reminiscent of the massive upheaval of the 1960s, from the growing discomfort with the Vietnam War, to the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963 and the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King and Senator Robert F. Kennedy in 1968. (This is just the tip of the iceberg of the shaking of the 60s.)
In our case today, the trauma of COVID is not that far in the past, nor is the memory of the race riots or the election scandals or the storming of the Capitol.
Then there are the growing fears of a potential World War III – a nuclear war at that – which could decimate the planet.
And this, too, is only a partial list of the crises (or potential crises) of the hour.
There’s also the question of trust.
Can we trust the mainstream media? Cable media? Internet media? Leftwing sources? Rightwing sources? The government? The medical profession? The education system? Organized religion?
And how do we know if something is a ridiculous conspiracy theory that should be ignored as opposed to a genuinely important story that “the powers that be” are trying to suppress? How do we figure this out?
The good news is that times of instability, uncertainty, distrust, and fear make for fertile ground for the gospel.
People know things are not right, but they don’t know where to turn.
This is where we step in, not to preach religion but to preach Jesus, not to sell a product or a personality but to point people to the only One who can truly save and deliver and forgive and transform. This is where we also help people to realize that the ultimate root of the problem is in each of our own hearts and lives. We are sick with sin, and there is only One who can heal us.
This is one of the reasons that, in the midst of the counterculture revolution of the 60s another revolution was birthed, the Jesus Revolution.
People were (and are) asking the big questions, the “why are we here” types of questions, the questions about the purpose and meaning of life, the questions about death and beyond.
We have the answer. We have the solution. We have the words of life and the ways of life. We have a path of light that will outshine the darkness.
To say all this in three short words: it’s harvest time!
May we sow the seeds of gospel love with tears of intercession so that, in the years ahead, many millions will come to faith with shouts of joy.
It is time!