The Wandering Pulpit – The Government Shutdown
Welcome to the wandering pulpit. As a preacher I find we (fellow preachers) are often accused of hopping down what are called (affectionately I am sure) “bunny trails”. I am unsure where this phrase comes from but we all know what it means and let’s be honest, all of us are guilty of enjoying a stroll down the bunny trail from time to time. Well, that is basically the purpose of this blog, to satisfy our itch to hop along the bunny trail and see where it leads us. Sometimes we will find it leads us to something good (like a bunny!) and other times perhaps just an empty hole in the ground (which often has a keen resemblance to our own minds…I speak from experience). So, if you have a few minutes wander with me a moment.
I have found this recent government shutdown fascinating. Though I am sorry for all those families out there that are having to go to work without pay, which by the way is contrary to Biblical principles (Deuteronomy 25:4; 1 Corinthians 9:9, 10). I have to admit that in a way I have enjoyed watching this shutdown unfold. Not because of the drama mind you, I can’t stand that, but rather because it has shown me and I pray our nation a glimpse of what things might be like without a bloated government and hopefully to the surprise of us all we can learn it is actually okay for us to go without many of these non-essential positions. It makes me appreciate the principles of small government which our founding fathers promoted more than ever.
Thomas Jefferson is recorded as saying, “The way to have good and safe government is not to trust it all to one, but to divide it among the many … It is by dividing and sub-dividing these republics, from the great national one down … that all will be done for the best. What has destroyed the liberty and the rights of man in every government which has ever existed under the sun? The generalizing and concentrating all cares and powers into one body…” This small tidbit is from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson February 2nd 1816 to Joseph C. Cabell. I would encourage you to search out the letter online and read it in its entirety, it is well worth the read.
But as I consider my earthly nations current predicament I am moved to greater appreciation for that heavenly kingdom of which I am a citizen and eagerly long for. A kingdom in which we will truly be “one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.” My mind honestly has a difficult time trying to process what perfect government looks like. Our own government established a constitution “in order to form a more perfect union” but even in their great efforts they recognized that it was still far from perfect. In Christ’s Kingdom we do not ever need to worry about a government shutdown. In Christ’s Kingdom we do not ever have to worry about our King not looking out for our best interests. In Christ’s Kingdom we will know for the first time true “peace on earth and good will toward men” (Luke 2:14). In Christ’s Kingdom there will be walls but with gates in every direction always sitting wide open for the people of the earth (Revelation 21:11-21). Christ’s Kingdom there will be perfect justice all of the time. There will be no favoritism or special cases just simple justice of which no one can argue (Revelation 20:11-15).
Take a moment to consider the words of Revelation 21:1-22:5. This is where all who have called upon the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, through faith, will spend eternity. This is what the believer has to look forward too. When I remember this it makes it a little easier to cope with out of control government and to remember that my primary patriotic duty lies on a much higher plain while I tread this guilty sod.
“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” Philippians 3:20