May 6, 2016



Living gladly under the reign of Christ


“So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.” Mark 16:19


It’s quite interesting to reflect that this year in the Scottish Elections, the date for the election coincided with Ascension Day – the 40th day after Jesus’ resurrection, when the risen Saviour ascended into heaven and took his place at God’s right hand.


As Christians, we have a dual citizenship: we are citizens of God’s eternal kingdom, where Jesus reigns; and we’re also citizens of this earthly kingdom of Scotland and the UK, and required by God to submit to, and respect, the rulers appointed over us.


As we’ve cast our votes this year, for many Christian people it is with a very real sense of hesitation – feeling that there is hardly a real choice for a Christian, in clear conscience, to enthusiastically endorse.


With the previous government having purported to redefine marriage, the next big moral issue to be tackled is apparently going to be gender – and the parties really do seem to think that it’s possible to redefine that!


Did you ever hear the story about the primary-school class where somebody brought a rabbit in one day? The class were arguing about whether it was a girl-rabbit, or a boy-rabbit. Some said it was a girl; others insisted that it was a boy. Eventually, one boy decided that the best way to settle the matter was to take a vote on it!


It’s a story I heard years ago – when such an approach was laughable, because everybody knew that some things have to be decided by the facts, not by a democratic vote. But almost unbelievably, this is what politicians across the parties propose to do: create a new gender (or genders) by parliamentary vote! It’s yet another case of the truth being stranger than fiction!


In the midst of such government-led moral collapse, we must nevertheless seek to respect the authority of our leaders, and submit to that authority, as Scripture commands – and we must urgently pray for them, as Scripture also commands.


But in connection with the date-coincidence referred to above, I do find myself more grateful than ever that I also belong to God’s eternal kingdom – where Jesus is reigning, where anyone (through faith in him) may find acceptance, and where justice, mercy and righteousness are not just vague ideas, but absolute realities, grounded in the justice, mercy and righteousness of God himself.


For us, the government we elected on Ascension Day lasts only for five years – and then is dissolved and replaced by another. But long after all earthly kingdoms and governments are gone, Jesus will still be reigning on his throne, and we will still be rejoicing to be citizens in that City of God that will endure for ever!

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