The Virginia state seal was designed in 1776 – the year of our nation’s independence. It depicts a woman standing with a spear in her hand over a slain king. The king’s crown lies on the ground. And in his hand is a whip – which he had used to oppress the people. At the bottom of the seal is the Latin phrase sic semper tyranus – “thus always to tyrants.” This was meant to depict America’s independence from British rule. Going forward the model would be democracy – government by the people. Monarchy was an antiquated concept to be trampled under-foot.
Virginia’s seal symbolizes the general sentiment of the American people. We have little tolerance for leaders and laws that are imposed upon us. We are skeptical and critical of things over which we have not had input. We don’t necessarily extend honor to all leaders (because of their position) but only to those who in some sense have earned our respect. And of course, democracy allows for – and even encourages – many of the peaceful marches and protests that have taken place during our most recent presidential transition (although certainly not condoning the use of physical violence or verbal assaults).
In the midst of our current political landscape, we must remember that Jesus has come as King to establish his absolute reign. The best form of government is not democracy but monarchy. Our primary citizenship is within God’s kingdom. We are called to obey unconditionally – whether or not we agree or understand. And we will live under a benevolent dictatorship for all of eternity.
Unfortunately, many believers have responded to Jesus as they have responded to earthly leaders. They have protested. They have tried to bargain. They have pursued their own way. They have simply ignored his commands. What would it mean for you to bow the knee to King Jesus?
Photo credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Seal_of_Virginia.svg