Humans are meant to rule, to be political, to govern and be governed. God’s first words to the first humans in the Hebrew Scriptures were to rule and care for a vast creation on behalf of God – to govern Creation.
A problem was introduced that distorted the ability for humans to rule, but the problem wasn’t humans, or even human governance.
When it comes to politics and humans governance, the problem is isn’t solved by God circumventing humans, the problem is that humans want to circumvent God.
Jesus came as a human, to perform embodied solidarity with us – to live, die and resurrect, but to also lead the way for humans back into their rightful role as those who were created to govern Creation on behalf of its Creator. Jesus came to reinstate the human race as the rightful governors of creation, but to do so, he also had to reinstate us in right relationship with our Creator.
While this reinstatement takes place, our temptation is to resign ourselves to waiting for God to rescue us and replace chaotic human governments with himself. But Christ calls us deeper than that. Rather, he calls us to live into the tension of our already by not yet role of kindly governing creation in the way of Jesus while we wait for the renewal of all things. The vision of the end times in Daniel 7 is that God hi-jacks the governments of the world and gives them to Christ and to the Church equally. We are co-equal rulers of Creation alongside Christ. Christ is central in that he inaugurates human rule again, but then joins our reign, showing us how to rule, rather than replacing it.
Current and past human governments are chaotic, but the solution is not to get rid of the “humans”. Rather it is to embrace humanity’s role to govern and care for each other in a way wherein humanity looks and acts more and more like Jesus.
Christ invites the Church to not give up on human governance, because he hasn’t. In Genesis we were plan A, and in Revelation, Christ promises to reinstate plan A by healing us and setting us back into the expansive and beautiful Garden of His New Creation as its rightful occupants and rightful rulers.
Enter the Gospel
“May you know that your kingdom is not of this world but of the world that is coming to this world and that is not yet here. May you in the same breath grasp that *engagement* with the things of this world—not escape from its harsher, darker realities—is the sacrificial pattern of Jesus Christ.
May you discover your role in the just and merciful governance of the world God made good and pursue that cosmos-converting vocation with love amid the world’s brokenness and grittiness. May you see your work in the world—all of your callings and activities—as a participation in bringing the kingdom of heaven to earth.
May you have strength and beauty and determination and wisdom as you love your neighbor and your enemy as Christ has loved you, seeking with all persons to bring justice, mercy, and lasting peace to the earth.” – Father Kenneth Tanner