Daily Office Readings for Saturday of Proper 10: Year 2
“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities; for there is no authority except from God, and those authorities that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists authority resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.” (Romans 13: 1 – 2)
Poor Paul, while I am in agreement with Paul on many of his insights that I believe are truly from God, this part of the letter to the Church in Rome stops me in my tracks. This exception is especially true as I look at the history of our Southern States and our Washington D.C. government. In our past, our Government has condoned slavery until a civil war ensued. And after the war, the re-united government still allowed some citizens to be unjustly treated having to ride in the back of public transportation, no voting rights; little to no education and the list goes on even to include unprosecuted community genocides . We imprisoned innocent Japanese Americans out of fear of their possible connection to Japan in the nineteen forties. No Paul, resisting such a government is not resisting God, but resisting a ungodly government. Resistance then is Good Trouble as termed by the late U.S. Congressman John Lewis.
Perhaps the best way to make a government the ideal that God wants it to be is not to abandon it, but to participate in the corrective action that will make the government more godly. As a Christian of contemporary America I can’t ignore the racial unrest being made manifest today.
There are actions that people are doing that I don’t approve of. I don’t approve of rioting and the vandalizing done to businesses. Peaceful protesting is ok but evil is wrong, be it the government or lawless mobs. I don’t like kneeling for our National Anthem. I am a thirty year U.S. Marine and proud of it. And, I am a so-called black man, (I really don’t believe in race), who really enjoys having a beer while watching John Wayne westerns. I pondered about this a lot before sharing it but I need to get this off my chest. I pray there is a godly message in this and that we all strive to make our government the government Paul speaks of – the government of God’s people.
Let us remember and honor the struggling government of Ukraine. They have come together for their own common good even against a mighty world power. But they have God and they have us. Let us keep them in prayer for as long as it takes.
And let us pray for ourselves as we deal with the post Roe v. Wade reversal.
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John