” …even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.” (Ephesians 1:4-10 ESV)
But as a Christian, a Christ-follower, a daughter of God, my primary allegiance is to the family that I now belong to. This family isn’t just flesh and blood. It’s not merely a local church. I was adopted into this family through no good works of my own, but by the precious blood of Jesus–through his life, death and resurrection he signed my adoption papers and I stand WITH him before God. United with my brothers and sisters from across the globe. I have had the privilege of worshipping with believers in Panama, in Tokyo, and in Austria all in their native cultures and tongues. I’ve also worshiped with believers from around the globe on my college campus in Nebraska. I’ve worshiped with those in poverty, and in extreme wealth. But we stood shoulder to shoulder, together praising the one God who is worthy of praise.
Being adopted in this global family changes our identity. We get an entirely new set of DNA. We share that new DNA with brothers and sisters in Egypt. Taiwan. China. Germany. Russia. Turkey. They may look, sound, and act nothing like me, but they are my blood relatives. We have all been adopted together. I no longer value my American heritage over my relation to this new family spread across the globe. Across history. I am a Christian. I just happen to reside in America. For now. But my true home is coming.
We tread in dangerous waters when we read the “you”s of the Bible as singular. Written to me. I cannot substitute my name, or anyone else’s name for that matter into it. God’s promises are not to ME individually, or even “you” as a small local body of believers. Or even “you” as a singular country. It is a plural “you.” Written to the entire group. The entire family shares in the “you” here. My husband often jokes that the southern “Ya’ll” is actually a biblical term. My local church in safe, suburban upstate New York is not the “city on a hill” Jesus was referring to in Matthew 5. My local body is not the light of the world. At least, not alone. But this new, vastly different and yet somehow together body of believers whom I now am privileged to call family…when we are introducing people to the true Light of the World (his name is Jesus)…now we, all of us together, are the city on a hill, giving light to the whole house.
So be encouraged, American Christian, during one of the most ridiculous political seasons I’ve ever experienced. A new president is not our hope. Conservative supreme court justices will not rescue us. A republican Senate or House will not ensure greatness and safety. We have a King who resides as the head of our family, and he is ever present. Ever watching. Ever caring. His name is Jesus and his name will be made great.