The reading from I Timothy 2:1-7 offers this advice: for those in high positions, offer prayers, thanksgivings, and supplications that we may live in peace and dignity. During the first century, the audience lived under the authority of Roman Empire. They were already praying for the emperor. This is something they had been doing all their lives. In the Roman Empire, Caesar was considered the son of the divine. There was no division between church and state, Caesar was the highest religious figure. When the early Christians named Jesus as the savior of the world and Jesus is lord, this was in direct opposition to Rome’s authority.
The letter in Timothy reassures Christians that it is OK to offer prayers to the king and those in high positions of authority. The letter is a reaction to the heavy persecution of Christians. It urged a less revolutionary stance in order to survive and appear less threatening. Today’s Christians no longer need to blend in. We have thrown off the shackles of being under a monarchy or empire. No one believes our leaders are divine. Our nation is mostly Christian. While there is a separation of state and church, there is no restriction on religion and politics. Churches petition the government to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly in God’s world. We advocate on behalf on immigrants so they may receive the benefits due them for their labor.
We advocate for mercy for those effected by unfair and racist drug laws. Millions are sentenced to long prison terms. We can petition our government to walk humbly in this world by not bombing at-will, invading at-will, and droning at-will. We pray for our leader because they are NOT divine. Our assignment this week is to pray for those running for office. May they find God’s blessings.