What a turbulent mess is the state of our social and political bonds. We are presently haunted by the specter of not Communists, but of Russians. Our President-Elect might be a Manchurian candidate but then again, he may merely be playing a Ouija board, consulting Putin in back channels. But no one seems certain. Intelligence Agencies that are in place to ostensibly protect the people of the United States are, it appears, opposed to each other (but then anyone who read Lawrence Wright’s brilliant book The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 is not going to be surprised by the lack of cooperation between these two agencies and the deadly consequences that result from such division in the intelligence communities). The nation voted by over 2.5 million votes for Hillary Clinton but the electoral college was won solidly by Donald Trump. We are now a divided nation that is watching the creation of a presidential cabinet dominated by oligarchs and generals.
These kinds of stories abound in the Bible. The scriptures are not naive about the world in which we live which is a very good reason for you to read the Bible. Listen to what the old prophet and judge, Samuel, warned his people about when they expressed their desire to have a king rule them [chapter 8 of First Samuel]:
11 Samuel said, “Here are the policies of the king who will rule over you: He will conscript your sons and put them in his chariot forces and in his cavalry; they will run in front of his chariot. 12 He will appoint for himself leaders of thousands and leaders of fifties, as well as those who plow his ground, reap his harvest, and make his weapons of war and his chariot equipment.13 He will take your daughters to be ointment makers, cooks, and bakers. 14 He will take your best fields and vineyards and give them to his own servants. 15 He will demand a tenth of your seed and of the produce of your vineyards and give it to his administrators and his servants. 16 He will take your male and female servants, as well as your best cattle and your donkeys, and assign them for his own use. 17 He will demand a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will be his servants. 18 In that day you will cry out because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the Lord won’t answer you in that day.”
It’s not a happy picture. True, some of the language and terms are old and differ from our situation but I think the basic point Samuel made is, you’re about to be fleeced. So here we are. We are living in an age of relentless, unceasing war. And the wealthiest are about to be put in charge over us. In these coming days it is important that we seek the Kingdom of God. And certainly the message of this season of Advent and political inauguration is this: Today your Savior is born in the city of David. He is Christ the Lord. Rulers and cabals come and go. The Light of Christ shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it. Light that candle of truth and keep it lit. ~See You Sunday