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Good Days Coming

As we move into our season of Advent, our lectionary reading for this upcoming Sunday is from Jeremiah 33:14-18.  Jeremiah is in prison for predicting the coming of the enemy that is already on the doorstep of the Kingdom of Judah.  Despite the accuracy of his prophecy, he remains in jail, because his message was not the one the King wanted to hear, but one of doom and gloom for the kingdom.  They would soon be taken captive.  This is his first message of hope to the King, but it is not for him, but for a future to come much later.

Jeremiah echoes the hopes of his fellow prophet Isaiah in telling of a descendant of David that would bring justice and stability to the kingdom.  In light of Advent, it is hard to not immediately read Jesus into this message, but I don't think we are doing the text injustice by doing so.  It is fair to say that, at that time, the people assumed that the new king would come much sooner than Jesus.

What stood out in my mind was this hope for a future political situation where justice, stability, and the radical values of the kingdom would be followed.  Prior to being taken captive, the people of Israel are asked to reflect on what that kingdom might look like.  Might we do the same with our own kingdom? 

No matter where you stand politically, you are likely encountering tension.  It does not feel "stable" because there is so much turmoil and opposition.  The two American parties are at each other's throats, and defending their cases blindly.  The media is so torn that you can listen to the same story on two different networks and still have no idea what must have actually happened.  We are more polarized than we have ever been in my lifetime.  What would the rule of Jesus look like in our modern government?

Would we give up our idol of freedom and democracy for the just rule of the Most High King?  Would we vote a man of character into office?  I am afraid, that if we really reflect on this, that we may find that we have no place for Jesus as King in our nation.  Can we really assume that either party is the party of the Christian faith?  Would many of us vote for a party Jesus would align with?  I would guess it would look more like a socialist monarchy than many of us would be comfortable with. 

I recognize that we cannot assume that any non-Jesus candidate would lead like Jesus, so a democratic-republic is seen as the next best thing...but could we at least make sure we are voting for people of character?  Could that be more important than political affiliation, or even issues?


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