The Iowa Caucus is less than a week away! For decades this unique event has given Americans their first indication of which candidates might win their party’s nomination in a presidential election year. Citizens meet in numerous precinct caucuses throughout the state, and the results help define convention delegates.
Iowa Caucus meetings take place in schools, libraries, churches and homes. Unlike other primary elections, where steps are taken to protect voter confidentiality, caucus meetings promote open debate. While different, the millions of dollars candidates invest in these gatherings are proof they matter.
As I listen to forecasts for the Iowa Caucus my mind turns to the church. I am not thinking of the church buildings where political parties meet, but rather the living representation of God’s kingdom, His Body on earth. The church is the assembly of believers who come together with great frequency to celebrate their common grace in Jesus.
In this assembly there is healthy debate in matters of biblical interpretation and practical application. Most call it “discussion”. I am reminded of the Jews in Berea who, upon hearing the gospel of Jesus, “examined the scriptures every day to see is what Paul said was true.” (Acts 17:11) It must have been exciting for Paul to engage his Jewish brothers and sisters in a process that led them to believe, along with many Gentiles (Acts 17:12).
But here is where my analogy breaks down. Unlike the Iowa Caucus, there is one candidate, and one party in the church. Jesus has already been crowned the Victor, and it is impossible to unseat Him. This doesn’t mean there isn’t competition. I suppose one could make the case there is a separate caucus for Satan. If so, that assembly also has but one candidate, and he has already been declared the loser. And no, it is not productive to draw a parallel between your political leanings and either of these camps!
When believers worship they are celebrating victory as both a future event and a present reality. Every weekend Christians around the world hold a global caucus, proclaiming Jesus as King. They meet in church buildings, schools, storefronts and homes. They share testimonies and model hope to their young. Then they leave empowered to change the world as members of the Kingdom Caucus, the church triumphant.
Why aren’t the news outlets at church meetings reporting the latest? For the same reason they wouldn’t bother traveling to Iowa if the same presidential candidate was chosen every four years. Nothing has changed. When the church gathers, it celebrates the One who was, is and is to come. He is the undisputed Winner, and we are His citizens.
I am anxious to see which candidates come out on top through the Iowa Caucus. Yet, victory in this case is just an indication. In contrast, Jesus’ victory is validation of things to come. There will be no recounts of hanging chads.
Better get ready for the inauguration. I hear its going to be quite a day!