Here’s something you might not know. According to Fisher Ames (1800) “Politics is the science of good sense, applied to public affairs”. Nice try, but probably not accurate even in the 1800s. Hello, reality! Politics has existed for thousands of years. Having a conundrum of platforms and views to consider is nothing new, nor is deceit within people chosen to lead us. The advent theme for this week is hope. I don’t know about you, but I sure need hope. Jeremiah 17:7 says, “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.”
I think I have a pretty good life, but it isn’t without irritation or pain or fear. We all live our moments one at a time, sometimes skipping, sometimes plodding. Most of the time don’t we follow the pattern of our day without really thinking about what comes next? Then the unthinkable happens – an illness, an accident, a tragic storm, yet another shooting. As much as we want someone to magically supply the answer, somehow we turn to our government and expect political icons to fix this. Here’s a newsflash. No political party has the solution.
Did you know that way back in the days of Zechariah there were two distinct rulers? They were even more influential than our current political parties, and sometimes even more at odds. The king was in charge of ruling the nation with political influence, while the high priest was responsible for the religious life of the citizens. And get this – some of them were even corrupt! In this scripture for today, God tells Zechariah that He was sending ONE person to be both King and Priest. His Messiah would fulfill both roles, a totally unheard of and unbelievable concept for that day. In our climate today, we can’t imagine having a singular political party or religious denomination. So then, it’s not so difficult to understand why the one Messiah coming as both King and Priest was so baffling to the citizens of that day.
Today we are not lacking leaders who have a platform, attract followers, and crave the spotlight. Yet, they are human with limitations no matter how broadly educated they are, or how powerful they appear to be. They are icons. Even though their advisers impress with their opinions, create new laws, and layer policy upon policy, their views are linear. The authentic fixer, the only one who sees all the threads of this life is the God created them. People, even those in authority, are finite, limited by their own intelligence, foresight, insight, and filters. No matter how powerful people seem to be, they are merely people. God knows everything and sees everything. God doesn’t have power, God is power. In God is our hope for today and our hope for the future. Life is tough. Pray hard.
December 8, 2015 Advent theme: Hope
The Advent scripture for today is Zechariah 6:12-13 (The Message)
Then this Message from God came to me: “Take up a collection from the exiles. Target Heldai, Tobiah, and Jedaiah. They’ve just arrived from Babylon. You’ll find them at the home of Josiah son of Zephaniah. Collect silver and gold from them and fashion crowns. Place one on the head of Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and give him this message: ‘A Message from God-of-the-Angel-Armies. Be alert. We have a man here whose name is Branch. He will branch out from where he is and build the Temple of God. Yes, he’s the one. He’ll build the Temple of God. Then he’ll assume the role of royalty, take his place on the throne and rule—a priest sitting on the throne!—showing that king and priest can coexist in harmony.’