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POWER

Power.  Government. Voting. Politics. This week my Sisters and Brothers we will check to see what the Bible has to say about such things.  I promise not to attempt to sway your personal views, only to review scripture and see what our Triune God has said about such things and therefore requires us to critically examine such topics and applications.  Ready?  Here we go....

 

Monday

"Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” - Genesis 1:26 NRSV

 

Here is the creation of the first "government".  And there is a lot here, so I will attempt to be brief. 

 

"Dominion".  As scripture says, God has given humans "dominion" over the animals, not "domination".

 

"Dominion" means to be in a relationship with, to be in mutuality with one another.  God gave humans the resource of the animals to not only provide food but to provide care of the animals who also are collaborators with helping sustain the earth.

 

Vegetation grows uncontrollably unless it is maintained.  It's not like there was a home depot for Adam and Eve to go to go get power tools.  Animals had to help.

 

Animals also fertilize and pollinate the vegetation that they all needed for oxygen, food, and shelter.  Humans need them for that too... bees anyone?

 

God created a well-balanced cycle that required all parties to play a significantly important role for all of God’s creation to exist, no matter what they looked like, and the land they inhabited.  Humans were placed to govern this cycle, to learn how to treat one another. 

 

"Domination" is what allows humans to think they can MANipulate the cycle to feed their hunger for power over everything and everyone.  "Domination" is a symptom of "original sin".

 

God allowed humans to "practice" on how to govern in Eden, to see value in even the smallest of creatures, even in the creepy-crawly ones that we don't like, that creature, that looks different, that do things we don't understand. 

 

That practice was to teach us how to take care of the smallest of us, even the ones who have cultures that look different and do things that we do not understand.

 

If we can be in relationship with animals and creatures, then surely we can be in relationship with humans that look different, that we don't understand.

 

Our government is to be in "dominion" with, not "dominate" over.

 

Amen.

 

Be Blessed, Beloved.

 

  • Rev. Damon

www.faithfirst.me

© 2020 Faith First Project

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Tuesday

“But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release Barabbas for them instead. Pilate spoke to them again, “Then what do you wish me to do with the man you call the King of the Jews?” They shouted back, “Crucify him!” – Mark 15: 11-13 NRSV

It’s ELECTION Day.  So today I thought it fitting to use the Bible to remind us about the importance of voting.

Did you know that there is not a recorded instance of a “vote”?  There are many instances of people being chosen to do something, usually by a small number, stories of people being appointed, but never an actual “vote”, including from God.  The closest is Deuteronomy 1:13 where the word is “choose” among you, not “vote”.

But in today’s scripture, we have an election.  We have a campaign, campaign ads, campaign advisors, and finally a “vote”.  In the scripture, the appointed religious leaders of the day had decided they had tired of Jesus and His miracles and helping people according to God’s law, not their law. 

Using a system of oppression that was supported by the Empire, they brought Jesus up on charges, fixed the court, tampered with the jury, and secured a conviction.  However, the supreme of that day was not convinced that the death by crucifixion penalty fit the crime, so he decided to put Jesus’ sentence up to a “vote” by the public.

After a misleading word of mouth campaign, signs of attack ads, empire supporting leaders telling their narrative, the crowd was convinced that Jesus deserved to die.  Even though some in the crowd had benefited from Jesus’ campaign, despite His interpretation of the law, regardless of His just fundraising and distribution of resources, even supporting diversity and equity, they voted against Him and to free a murderer.  Not one voter, not one voice dissented or resisted the barrage of the loud lying leaders who influenced the masses.

Did they vote?  Did they take a stand against the empire?  Or did they convince themselves that their vote doesn’t matter… that voting doesn’t matter?

Then.  Today.  ALL VOTES MATTER!  And to not vote, is also a VOTE.

VOTE!

Because your life just may depend on it.

Be Blessed, Beloved.

 

  • Rev. Damon

www.faithfirst.me

© 2020 Faith First Project

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Wednesday

“To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” 1 Corinthians 12:7 NRSV

Did you know that today is “National Common Sense” Day?  Yep, there is one day a year when everyone is to practice common sense.  And in the scripture, Paul tells us that each of us has the Holy Spirit within us to exercise our common sense for the common good. 

“Common Good”.  In the divisiveness that has been encouraged by leaders, parties, organizations, and yes, even churches, the “common good” often gets lost in the lack of “common sense”. 

Pardon me if I ramble, been watching for results since Tuesday. 

“Common”.  As different as each of us are, some things are “common”.  We all need air to breathe.  We all need food to eat.  We all need water to drink.  We all need shelter and clothing to protect us from the elements.  We all need the be able to make choices that are best for our lives.  We all need to be able to worship and praise and serve God how we choose to.  That is what is “common” among us all.

In all times, we need leaders, to have the “common sense” to fight for, and to protect those things for all of humanity… the “common good”.   We also need that person in the mirror to do the same.

Jesus, who Paul is representing is saying to the church in Corinth that we all have been granted the Holy Spirit to do the “common good”. 

Let us not shy away from the Holy Spirit that guides us, so that we can use “common sense” and provide for all of God’s children… that is the “common good”.

Be Blessed, Beloved.

 

  • Rev. Damon

www.faithfirst.me

© 2020 Faith First Project

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​Thursday

“As servants of God, live as free people, yet do not use your freedom as a pretext for evil. Honor everyone. Love the family of believers. Fear God. Honor the emperor.” – 1 Peter 2:16-17.

When talking about Government and Power, it requires us to read scripture not as BIBLICAL, but as “simple” language.  I have encountered Christians who read verses like this to mean that our Faith has no place in politics or government, and that as long as we obey the laws, we have done our Christian duty.

Allow me to “push back” at this very powerful statement on the government from the Bible. 

  1. As servants of God, we are free to do what we want, as long as it serves God.And we can’t use our freedom to be evil to others, that doesn’t serve God.That applies to the citizenry and those in office.

  2. “Honor everyone”.How do Christians (and Christian officials) demonstrate “honor”?By allowing everyone to freely live, to recognize them as members of the beloved community, and not deny their humanity.

  3. When we see the word “love”, we often think about a very “mushy” thing.“Love” is caring, honest, inspiring, authentic, compassionate, sincere.Love is also “tough”.That means we must hold the family of believers accountable to use their freedom for God.

  4. Lastly, “Fear God.Honor the emperor.”This statement tells us who is in control, who really runs things.And then I look at what was not said,“Emperor”, not “Empire”. Respect the title. Allow the person in the title to use their freedom to not do evil.But when they do, servants of God…. You know what you have to do.

 

Be Blessed, Beloved.

 

  • Rev. Damon

www.faithfirst.me

© 2020 Faith First Project

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Friday

“You shall not render an unjust judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great: with justice you shall judge your neighbor.” – Leviticus 19:15 NRSV

Let’s go Old Testament! Even in the way back then, judgments were not always “just”.  Hate to tell you this, but corruption, bribes, cheating is not a modern invention.  This scripture is telling the judges, the leaders, the government officials to not be unjust, do not look down on the poor nor left those with money influence how laws are applied to the people, that justice is all that matters. 

What is excellent about this verse is that it is from Leviticus.  Leviticus is the book that is a “guide” for good and Godly living.  And from this guide, is the instruction to make sure that we hold our leaders accountable. 

I want to make sure that we pay attention to the two main points of this scripture:

  1. We make sure that our judges, leaders, and government be “just” in their renderings, in their application of the law.

  2. That “just” justice is for our neighbor.Who is our “neighbor”?Everyone.Everyone should expect and receive justice.

If we do not hold our judges, leaders, and governments accountable and if we do not help protect and fight for justice for everyone, we are just as guilty.

Let us be good and Godly and do the work.

 

Be Blessed, Beloved.

 

  • Rev. Damon

www.faithfirst.me

© 2020 Faith First Project