You hear it every election season, particularly in a time when each election seems more contentious and divided than the one that came before it. We remind ourselves that Jesus is on the throne to calm our anxieties. We remind ourselves because it sounds good to imply that God has ordained our preferred candidate (this, despite the fact that “free will” is a thing, and that the United States of America is a democratic republic where the government derives its power from the consent of the governed). We remind others to pacify their anxieties about circumstances that they (often rightfully) suspect may yield destructive results. Because we Christians love platitudes.

But this “platitude” is true. Jesus, the Son of God, reigns.

But what does that mean?

Does the kingship of Jesus mean that we rest on the fact that He has ordered everything to His satisfaction?

Or does the kingship of Jesus mean that we will be judged according to His standards, instead of the standards of the temporal province in which we temporarily hold citizenship?

I don’t like binary thinking, so that may be why I’m inclined to believe that the answer lies in the middle. In redeeming us to Godself, Jesus invited us to work alongside Him as we trust in His sovereignty.

That means that we need to do a better job of hearing each other. We cannot do the work of building communities that make disciples if the very people we’ve been charged with communing with are not being seen in fullness. That means that we need to hear each other’s pains, and hear each other’s concerns, and carry each other’s burdens. And we need to do all of that because Jesus is on the throne.

Proclaiming the kingship of Jesus is a balm, but not necessarily a pacifier.

In the incarnation, Jesus modeled the type of reconciliation He was about when he sought out the forgotten of society and declared that, in His kingdom, the first would be last and the last would be first. This was not a reversal of roles and fortunes. It was an abolishment of manmade hierarchies among those created in the image of God.

So as we continue to (rightfully) claim that Jesus is on the throne, it’s important to consider what that means for us. Jesus’s kingship cannot be used to silence cries of distress. Jesus’s constitution is one that requires we pay special attention to those cries.

I try to celebrate with the crowd when there is cause to do so. And I try to incline a listening ear to the people at all times. I do all of that because I believe that Jesus is on the throne.

What a mighty God we serve.