The boldest headline I ever saw on CNN.com struck me this morning. “Who Can Make It Stop? Is There a Leader Who Can Stop the Chaos and Heal America?” I immediately wished I were preaching tomorrow morning. What a great way to address the current fears of many congregations and communities! And a perfect segue to the answer found in most sacred scriptures. Only God can meet the deepest human need and give moral guidance to enable us to build strong bonds between individuals and groups who have hated one another for generations. We can’t find that kind of leadership in most Republicans and Democrats who are vying for high office this year.
In a devotional book I peruse from time to time I read recently that if government were the hope of the world, Christ would have come as an Emperor…in the line of the Caesars. Instead, the Son of God came as a Friend of Sinners, a Healer, Teacher, Guide, and Savior. We need to remember that when we struggle for an answer to CNN’s question. As I’ve written before, we tend toward idolatry when we place all our aspirations in one candidate or one party. Anything human is eventually going to let us down and fail to deliver on the promises made on the campaign trail.
One more thing about idols. A wise friend once told me that anything or anyone I love more than God-even a good thing or person-is a false deity. He also said that if we love them too much, we’ll be torn with terror when they are threatened and we’ll be crushed by despair if we lose them. Finally he gave me these words, “Until you identify your idols, you can’t understand yourself…and you can’t follow the only Leader whose word is eternally true and whose character is entirely trustworthy.”
He alone is our hope.