Growling Bears, Moaning Doves, & the Prince of Peace

All of us growl like bears, and moan sadly like doves. We hope for justice, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far from us” (Isaiah 59:11).

Peace is the fruit of righteousness and justice. When strife erupts into protests and demonstrations the cry for justice is lost among the cacophony of voices competing to be heard, competing for power. When power is the goal of protests, justice will be forfeited because unrestricted power by its very nature suppresses the weak. The ancient prophets of Yahweh lamented the corruption, oppression, and sinfulness of the people of God. The “kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Exodus 19:6) had degenerated into “growling bears and moaning doves.” The “growling bears” are locked in combat over territorial rights. The moaning doves lament the absence of peace.

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Advent Devotion – HOPE

The first candle of Advent signifies HOPE. As we light the candle of hope we are reminded of the faith of our ancestral fathers and mothers of the faith – the ancient patriarchs. About 4000 years ago God called Abram from the land of Iraq and said, “Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you; and I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing; and I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed” (Genesis 12:1-3).

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Nixon, Obama, and Immigration

President Richard Nixon explained his view of presidential authority in an interview with David Frost. As Frost pressed the former president about his questionable actions President Nixon responded, “When the President does it that means it’s not illegal.” A collective gasp of unbelief could be heard throughout the nation. Nixon appeared to suggest that the President of the United States is above the law.

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The Idolatry of Politics

The ancient people of Israel cried out, “Give us a king.” The desire for a king displeased Samuel, but Yahweh allowed Samuel to appoint a king over Israel. The desire for a king was an expression of idolatry. “The LORD said to Samuel, ‘they have rejected Me from being king over them… they have forsaken Me and served other gods'” (1 Samuel 8:5-8). The perennial temptation of humanity is to exalt human leaders to divine status. Admiration easily becomes adoration.

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Reflections of an Ecumenical Pentecostal