Man, oh man, is everyone angry today! Republicans are angry at democrats and democrats are angry at republicans. Tea Party folks are mad at the old-guard conservatives. Libertarians are mad at just about everybody. The poor say it’s the rich’s fault for being oppressive. The rich are mad at the poor for being lazy. Facebook spews forth bitterness. Every news outlet in the country is capitalizing on the drama.
“The government is shut down,” has been repeated time and time again over the last 24 hours. You’d have thought when we woke up this morning that the sun would not have risen in the sky. Is this real life, or Chicken Little? I thought the sky was falling? Oh wait, some parks are closed? I’ll still get my mail, so no worries.
I don’t mean to make light or make fun. I know some folks aren’t getting a pay check and that’s real life. That’s real pain. That’s real trouble for a lot of folks. My goal is not to debate the finer points of a government shut down. I’m not taking a political stance here. My point is entirely different:
Eventually, all governments shut down. Or at least slow down.
Remember when Egypt was the most powerful nation in the world? Look at them now. Presidents take office with a target on their backs.
Remember when Alexander the Great conquered the known world for Greece? They’re bouncing checks all over the known world these days.
The British Empire was the world’s strongest at one point, the sun never setting on it. The biggest news coming out of England recently was a new bundle of joy getting in line to be King.
America used to be (and, though tested, still is) the most powerful nation in the world. But someday this will not be true. LIke the Romans, the Ottomans, the Persians, and every other -ans in the history of the universe, Americans will someday lack dominance. In fact, someday there won’t be an America. Or a China. Or a Greece or Egypt or any other place.
Kingdoms rise and fall, and eventually every kingdom will fall with finality.
Except for one, that is.
13 “I saw in the night visions,
and behold, with the clouds of heaven
there came one like a son of man,
and he came to the Ancient of Days
and was presented before him.
14 And to him was given dominion
and glory and a kingdom,
that all peoples, nations, and languages
should serve him;
his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
which shall not pass away,
and his kingdom one
that shall not be destroyed.”
That’s Daniel 7:13-14, and it is of course talking about Jesus. I know it’s kind of apocalyptic sounding and thus confusing, but here’s what it says simply:
The rule and reign of Christ is different from every other rule and reign in the history of mankind. His dominion is everlasting. His Kingdom shall never be destroyed. He can’t be conquered. He doesn’t have a debt ceiling. He doesn’t need to fund an army. He doesn’t have to worry about a coup to overthrow his throne. He can’t be shut down. He won’t be intimidated. He doesn’t need any bills to pass to get His work done.
Kingdoms of this world need all those things. Jesus needs zero of those things.
This blog is intended for Christians. If you’re a Christian and you are reading this, please consider this statement carefully:
When Jesus said “my Kingdom is not of this world” (John 8:23, 18:36) he was serious. He meant that His Kingdom does not behave similarly to the Kingdoms of this world. He meant that His kingdom does not endure similarly to the Kingdoms of this world. It plays by a different set of rules and lasts longer than any other government will last. If you want to rant and rave about which side of the aisle blew it on this one, please feel free. That’s one of the great things about America–we can talk about stuff that’s not that important as loudly as we’d like. There will be more opportunities forthcoming.
Just understand that Jesus probably doesn’t care if Boehner or Barack are to blame, and you probably shouldn’t either. Instead, fix your eyes on what is eternal, not temporary (2 Corinthians 4:18). In doing so, you not only focus on a lasting Kingdom, but you focus on One whose influence cannot be diminished by mortal men.
Let the politicians squabble, but let’s not join their quarrel. Instead, let us be about the business that the King of our Kingdom has left us with:
15 “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” (1 John 2:15-17)
Thanks for reading.