Election Day 2020: Some Thoughts for Dual Citizens

Here we go. Election Day 2020. Tomorrow, as I write.

I’m not sure I remember ever dreading one, an election day, more (though the 2016 experience was very close).

It’s not the day I dread so much as the very real possibility of an Election Month or months or, maybe worse still, an “election in the courts.”

Maybe as you’re reading this you’ll know a good deal more than I possibly can (as I’m writing) about the outcome. Maybe it’s done and decided. Maybe really decided. Maybe—this is a long shot—most folks acted like adults and behaved. I hope so. I doubt it, but I hope so.

It would be nice to avoid the spectacle of inner city Democrats in a rage going through scads of pencils blistering their fingers and frying computer keyboards by writing hot letters to legislators decrying the horrid result of the election. Or the spectacle of roving bands of crazed Republicans in golf shirts or pin-striped suits burning police cars, setting fires in dumpsters, and looting neighborhood stores.

Maybe the exact scenarios above are somewhat unlikely, but others more likely and just as unpleasant are exactly the kinds we’d do very well to avoid.

I hope we can. We’ll soon know.

For me, and for many, our dual citizenship makes all of this both better and worse.

Citizens of God’s kingdom know who our real Lord, our real King, is. Our deep desire is to follow Christ and be true to his will, whatever the dictates of the rulers of the earthly kingdoms in which we’re also citizens.

We also are aware, or, at least, should be, that one of the rules of Christ’s kingdom is that we try to be among the very best citizens of the earthly nations in which we find ourselves. Sometimes and in some places, that is relatively easy; in others, very difficult indeed.

This I know: My citizenship in the United States of America pales compared to my citizenship in God’s kingdom. That higher citizenship trumps my earthly citizenship in every way. (No pun intended. Well, not much.)

But I also know that my earthly citizenship, even in a land that is far from perfect, has been for me, and for most of my fellow citizens, filled with blessing. I know that I owe a very real debt to my fellow citizens who have been willing to put their lives on the line and even to die to preserve the blessings of citizenship in this land and to try to make our world a better place. Only in nightmares can I imagine living in a land where I’m a virtual prisoner and starving so my mis-leaders can flirt with nuclear power. And, as much as my earthly citizenship pales in comparison to my allegiance to my citizenship in God’s kingdom, it is still precious enough that I hope I would be willing to die for it.

And, yes, I’ve already voted in this election. I find little comfort to be found in the main choices. It seems to me that this great nation should be able to do vastly better. But to have a choice at all is a very real blessing.

So here we go. For good, for ill, for what will certainly be, whoever wins, a varied and frustrating combination of both, citizens of God’s kingdom have an immense consolation and hope.

Our King is our King. Come what may here and into eternity, our King and our victory is sure.

You’re invited to visit my website, and I hope you’ll take a look there at my new “Focus on Faith” Podcast. At the website, just click on “Podcast.” Blessings!

Copyright 2020 by Curtis K. Shelburne. Permission to copy without altering text or for monetary gain is hereby granted subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.

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