For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come.

Hebrews 13: 14

People invest greatly in the places where we live. We also take real pride in these cities, towns, and villages. When we meet someone new we almost always want to know where they are from, and this information shapes a part of the lasting image of that person that we store away in our minds. This interest and the drive that underlies it are, I believe, the product of the way that God has designed this world to function. Both in creation and after sin fractured our relationship with God, the Lord granted humans the right and the responsibility to be caretakers and rulers over the earth. Thus, as we seek improvement and work to create healthy and thriving environments in the places where we live, we are doing the work that God has set out for us. However, I think that this can also get us very far off of the track that is most important in God’s view of life.

If we invest everything that we have and all that we are in developing and building up the communities where we and others live, we are placing our greatest treasures into temporary vessels. When we anticipate that we are simply one or two changes in leadership away from a return to the right path for our governmental units, we are ,frankly, deluded. There is no structure or organizational unit on this earth that will last forever. None of them are worthy when they are considered from God’s righteous and holy point of view. Now listen carefully, I am not saying that God does not want us to be involved and to be engaged in our nations and their governance. What I am saying is that it is too easy to lose all honest perspective in the process of this involvement.

Our nations and their leaders tend to speak loudest when they are talking in terms of power, wealth, control, and an ever shifting ideology. Christ speaks stridently with words that breathe justice, compassion, care, poverty, and rock solid truth that is founded on God’s Word. In God’s economy there is no room for compromise, but there is an infinite supply of the grace that brings the lost back home into the care and the guidance of the Eternal Shepherd. Although God calls His people to be voices of and for righteousness in our nations and to be influential in our culture, He also wants us to remain primarily focused on doing work that is oriented toward the true hope of humanity which is found only in the restoration of this world that is to come when Christ returns to take it back. This is also where our greatest potential for influence in today’s world is to be found. I believe that Christ wants Christians to be committed to being openly out spoken and culturally defiant when it comes to the issues which form the crux of our society’s turning toward God or turning away from Him. These include the sanctity of life, God’s design for marriage and family, peace as it is found through commonality of heart and in a humble desire to understand others, and justice. When these are our primary concerns, we are seeking after building God’s eternal city.