Ascension Lutheran Church

Calgary, AB

Fifteenth Sunday After Pentecost

1 Timothy 2:1-7

[1] First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, [2] for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity. [3] This is right and is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, [4] who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
[5] For
    there is one God;
    there is also one mediator between God and humankind,
    Christ Jesus, himself human,
    [6] who gave himself a ransom for all
    --this was attested at the right time. [7] For this I was appointed a herald and an apostle
    (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

As we find ourselves in the midst of a federal election, this text is especially noteworthy and provides a helpful perspective from which to view the various campaigns.

Paul states that “prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all who are in high positions”. It’s important to note there are no qualifiers in this instruction i.e. pray for your leaders but only if you like them or if you approve of how they perform their offices. We are instructed simply to pray for them, for a few reasons.

First, we pray for our leaders that their governance will allow us to better live peacefully, in godliness and dignity. Or in other words, we pray in the hope the government will rule in such a way that way so we can best love God and our neighour with our lives.

Second, we pray for our leaders that they, and everyone else “who desires might be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth”. Thus our prayers are not so much that the government promotes the programs we want, or a particular agenda, but that they might come to know God.

Finally, we pray for our government because in doing so we are reminded that our salvation doesn’t lie in leaders, political parties, agendas or ideals—our salvation is in Christ Jesus. Ultimately it matters less who gets elected than if our lives are lived in hope and trust in Christ.

That doesn’t mean we are to be indifferent towards things political—history is full of faithful men and women who felt called to serve in politics, and of others who were called to advocate for changes to policies and laws out of love for God and neihgbour. Rather we engage in politics from the perspective that what matters ultimately is our salvation and the salvation of others in Jesus Christ.

Governments change, and we may have opinions as to whether the change is for better or for worse. But such change has no effect on the truth that Jesus Christ is our savior.