Jesus for President?

In the High School Sunday School class, we are spending part of the fall semester talking about the relationship between faith and politics.  The hope is that we could create a space for the high school youth (and the teachers) to process and think critically about the politically charged atmosphere we are living in right now.  We have undertaken this series with the assumption that a relationship exists between faith and politics, but also with a recognition that this relationship is understood and practiced in many different ways. 

Some of the questions we have been and will continue to live with during these class sessions include:

- What does it mean to be political?
- What is the role of the Church in public life?
- What are some moral political issues and how are these influenced by our faith?
- What is the kingdom of God and how does it relate to how we live in the world?
- What does it mean to “give to Caesar what is Caesar’s”? 

During the first class, one of our youth noticed that I had borrowed some material from a book titled, Jesus for President, by Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw (which I highly recommend).  After seeing the title of the book, he declared, “I don’t think Jesus would be a very good president.”  From this comment, we had a rich discussion of why Jesus would or would not make a good president and what does actually make for a good president. 

As we continue to undertake this series with the high school youth, I’d love to hear your thoughts on these issues.  How do you understand the relationship between faith and politics?  Do you think Jesus would make a good president?

Regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum or how you understand the relationship between politics and faith, I think we can all agree that there are plenty of things in our community, our state, our nation, and our world that are not as they should be, that do not reflect God’s hope of shalom for creation.  With that in mind, I would like to pass along to you a prayer written by the Missional Church Committee of Central District Conference.  This prayer of confession will be used in our upcoming worship services here at CMC and in congregations across Central District.  You are invited to pray it personally as well during this political season:

O Holy One,
You have created one human family of all peoples of the earth in all its diversity.
But we live in a world of injustice, fear, and racism.
We find ourselves denying others their humanity in subtle, apathetic, spoken, unspoken and sometimes violent ways.
We confess that we are too often full of despair and grow numb to suffering.
We turn our backs to the brokenness of the world.
We confess that we feel too disconnected, too unimportant, too ill-equipped or too tired to live out the justice-filled healing and hope our faith requires.
Wake us up, O Holy One!
Comfort those of us who are grieving, disturb those of us who are complacent.
Breathe fire into our hearts and new life into our imaginations.
May we see the world through the eyes of Jesus, and in seeing, act together to reveal good news and abundant life.  Amen