O Church Arise

September 4, 2008

I have been pretty out-of-the-loop when it comes to American politics over the last few months. Between being in Uganda and camping with high school students, I haven’t had much time or access to the media.

Tonight I was able to catch the network television coverage of the GOP Convention. I was pretty curious to see Governor Palin’s speech. Overall, I thought it was pretty good; she spoke well and made some good points. However, a couple things stood out to me from the broadcast.

First, I couple not help but think how easily she could be the first female President of the United States. If McCain wins (it’s about a toss-up right now), Palin is only a heart-beat away from the Oval Office. And let’s face it: McCain is no spring-chicken. An article I saw in the LA Times this morning basically said that McCain has over a 10% chance of dying in his first term. Could Sarah Palin become the first female president without actually getting voted in as such? Time will tell.

Second, I will never cease to be amazed at how crazy these convention-ites get. From their applause and reaction, I have trouble discerning whether Palin is a politician, a rock star, or the Messiah. They hang on the every word of the speaker. From the comfort of my living room I can almost feel the disgust for anything Obama, Clinton, Democrat, or liberal. I know that any statement that touches conservatism or religion or patriotism or national defense is going to get the crowd hooting and hollering.

And sometimes I can’t help but think to myself, “Wow, this is overrated.”

Let me make some qualifiers to that last comment. I am not saying that as someone who is disinterested with politics or the political system. I am saying that as a Political Studies-Constitutional Law major. I am saying that as the guy who is glued to the TV screen the night of the Iowa Caucuses (hey, you never know when you might miss the next Dean Scream.) I am also not saying that people should not be involved in politics or go to political conventions; those are good things. I’ve even served at a convention before.

But sometimes I wonder if people get too sucked-in to the hoopla of politics. And I especially wonder this about evangelicals.

Where is the hope of the church to change America? Is it in the McCain-Palin ticket? Or is it in the Gospel? Again, I’m not trying to knock McCain-Palin at all; I plan on voting for them. I’m trying to say that the church needs to remember that the only hope for real change and real revival comes through the gospel. I’m all in favor of a conservative government, but having a church that is on fire for Christ is incredibly more important.

After I watched the debate, I listened to a song by Keith and Krysten Getty called “O Church Arise.” Here are the lyrics:

“O church, arise and put your armor on;
Hear the call of Christ our captain;
For now the weak can say that they are strong
In the strength that God has given.
With shield of faith and belt of truth
We’ll stand against the devil’s lies;
An army bold whose battle cry is “Love!”
Reaching out to those in darkness.

Our call to war, to love the captive soul,
But to rage against the captor;
And with the sword that makes the wounded whole
We will fight with faith and valor.
When faced with trials on ev’ry side,
We know the outcome is secure,
And Christ will have the prize for which He died—
An inheritance of nations.

Come, see the cross where love and mercy meet,
As the Son of God is stricken;
Then see His foes lie crushed beneath His feet,
For the Conqueror has risen!
And as the stone is rolled away,
And Christ emerges from the grave,
This vict’ry march continues till the day
Ev’ry eye and heart shall see Him.

So Spirit, come, put strength in ev’ry stride,
Give grace for ev’ry hurdle,
That we may run with faith to win the prize
Of a servant good and faithful.
As saints of old still line the way,
Retelling triumphs of His grace,
We hear their calls and hunger for the day
When, with Christ, we stand in glory.”

I’m interested in the political process. I’m pulling for McCain-Palin. But I’m desperately praying for a church that lives this song out more than anything else.

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One Response to “O Church Arise”

  1. RobertaBlakey said

    Amen!

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