September 28, 2018
There is an intriguing line in Scripture in I Samuel 3:1 – “The word of the Lord was rare in those days…” I have sometimes wondered if God went silent because the people consistently did not listen to God.
But then God begins to speak again in the days of Scripture, and pretty soon the prophets speak, and speak, and speak. Their consistent message—I thoroughly know this because we studied every prophet in last year’s Disciple III class—is that when God’s people worship other gods and/or fail to promote justice in the world (care for the poor, orphans, widows, fair treatment for all), God judges them. The prophets’ view is that the people are stripped of their temple and land and are exiled because of their failures in leading with faithfulness and justice.
This is a word for our times. The overarching message of Scripture is that God loves, and loves, and loves and even when we turn away God seeks us, and finally gives us God’s own Son, Jesus, to show us God’s way of love. God expects faithfulness, especially from leaders, who guide and influence the people they lead. When people are given that sacred trust of leadership, they are to follow God’s ways with humility and thoughtfulness.
I seek to lead that way and sometimes fail. Then I try to listen for the Word of God, and repent and reorder my life around God’s desires, not my own. And again, sometimes I fail, and start again.
Today I see many leaders who are wrapped up in fulfilling their own desires, and then lead people into being self-centered, greedy, and faithless. God will judge that, will hold people accountable. And God will continue to love and love, perhaps sometimes by holding accountable.
Take what you will from this reflection, and vote in November, and pray earnestly for leaders in our homes, churches, communities, country and world.
Dear God, We humbly come to you this day and ask for your wisdom and guidance to be upon us, and upon all leaders, including those in our country. We give you such great thanks for our many blessings, for a prosperous, beautiful, free land. Help us realize the responsibility that such blessings put upon us, and guide us into your love and wisdom. Today we pray for all victims of violence, including sexual violence. Speak your word to us, and give us ears to hear, and the courage to follow your ways. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
P.S. This Sunday, Sept. 30, is a Fifth Sunday, so there is no Sunday School and our church family worships all together. We wrap up our Connecting God and the World…the Church in Mission series, by looking at the work of our hands—the sewing ministries of our church, and the ways those involved weave beautiful tapestries of God’s love.