Musings on Holiness in Current Events

I haven’t put anything up lately – not that anyone is holding their breath about it!  But here goes a few brief “musings” on the current events and how it relates to our Lenten theme of Holiness. 

SIX SHOT DEAD IN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY LECTURE HALL:  The first thing my wife said this morning as she read it was “I wonder how [my brother and sister in law] Harlan and Jenny are doing.”  Jennifer is a German professor at Valparasio University in Indiana.  A perfectly natural thing to say, reflecting the psychological reality that “closeness” to a situation makes its impact greater on our minds.  But what a silly thing, actually.  What difference should it make if it happens here in Scranton or across the nation or world? To our son or daughter, or someone elses?  It is a tragedy.  It is a violation of the Holy.  It should make us rend our clothing, cry a river of tears, understand with an ever more clear mind that we are in need of the Holy One in our lives, and finally cause us to repent of the wreckage of this, our lives. 

OBAMA RACKS UP THE VICTORIES:  The fairy tale that has been Obama continues and seems to be crescendoing to his annointing as the Democratic nomination for the presidency.  Certainly Obama seems to be a very capable individual, a potentially great leader, and, from what we can see, a person of good character.  I especially am attracted to his ability as a speaker, one who would seem to be skilled in the ancient art of “Rhetoric”.  In ages past, one’s ability to communicate well was so very highly respected, in contrast with today’s utter failure to appreciate a well crafted vocabulary and verbal skills.  (Although his skills do challenge me to pay more attention to my own sermons, they also make me rather jealous at times!)  But I did read a commentary this morning on what many observers are more and more concerned about:  the way in which Obama speaks, it is becoming more and more “creepy”, filled with flowery jargon and a self aggrandization that is lending itself to something of a messianic complex.  He is somehow with wonderful speeches and a magic wand going to “heal the nation” and the world!  Wow!  Now, every election brings something of this.  But with Obama it seems to be going a bit far – as we haven’t even gotten out of the primaries yet!!!  It actually reminds me of one of my recent Advent sermons when we were considering one of the Messianic passages of Isaiah.  In it we have what scholars think was actually the “coronation hymn” of the new kings that were ascending the throne of Israel.  They all took their throne promising righteousness and justice and peace in the land…  But of course, the promises never came true.  King after king, until one day, the Babylonians came and took the king away…  All of a sudden there was no earthly king to put their hope in.  It became clear that we needed something more than an earthly king.  We need the Holy One, the one who eventually came preaching repentance and “The Kingdom of God”!  Just remember:  put your hope not in man or in princes (as the psalmist says), but in your God!  And pray for Obama.  I pray that his “success” would not corrupt his heart.  How come I am not very hopeful about this?  How does the saying go?:  “Power corrupts, absolutely.” 

MOUNT ARIE IN DANGER OF BANKRUPTCY:  Where there is money (and so much of it), how can there not be corruption and mobs and so many evil things!  FLEE from it all!  Flee to the refuge of the Holy One! “Jesus Christ is our Righteousness and Holiness”!  

FINAL THOUGHT:   If you despair at the world.  If you point the finger at everyone else and see their sin so plainly.  STOP!  Look at yourself first.  Look at your heart.  Is there any goodness there?  We often cannot do anything about what anyone else does.  But what we CAN do is flee to Holiness ourselves.  By the power of God’s Holy Spirit, who began a good work in us so long ago in our Baptism, let God bring it to completion in OUR lives!  Let His Kingdom come to us as we pray it!  Let us be the devoted Children of God in Christ Jesus!  Forgiven, Saved, Holy, Citizens of Heaven itself!  Heirs of eternal life!  God strengthen us to live under the Cross with joy and peace!

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