Sunday, March 30, 2008

A New Voice in Politics

There's a new voice in American son.

Nope, he's not running for office. He's registering to vote. Last year, someone in the family mentioned the 2008 elections, and we realized that our son will be able to vote. And wouldn't you know? He almost glowed. He stood a little taller.

Now he knows he has a voice.

But who to vote for? How does anyone decide?

We told him he needs to decide as an American, what's important to him. What candidate, regardless of party, speaks to issues that Zach values? Who sounds like he or she is competent at speaking and acting upon our behalf?

If you've ever been to Washington and walked the halls of Congress, you'll see that the hallways resemble high school during student council election time. Every Senator or Represetative, it seems, as a bulletin board or display outside their office highlighting their pet project. Remember high school, when students would lobby for better dances or pizza on Friday in the cafeteria? The people in their states have voiced the concerns and issues they want dealt with in Washington. Our Congress needs to remember who they are, and who put them in office. They are our servants, and we as people gave them our literal vote of confidence that they're the person meant to represent us.

We walked the hall of Congress last summer, so we saw this firsthand in our Representative's office. Not glitzy or glamorous by any means, but an office of busy workers who looked happy that they (and we) were there. Representative John Carter's staff were gracious and friendly. Of course, it's a Texas group, but we visited a Texas Senator with whom we were less than impressed (can you say moooooo as we felt shuffled through like cattle?).

Unfortunately, people vote for someone for the wrong reasons, like they did in high school.

"They seem nice."

"Someone told me they were nice."

"He makes me laugh."

Or they shun a candidate...

"Well, someone told me he was evil." Really? Do you know for sure?

"I heard that he used to..."

Anyway, as we have a new voter in the home, we're going to encourage him to investigate the candidates himself. Because he has a voice. As do we all. Most importantly, we're going to pray!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Rock Star Sunday

I think of Palm Sunday as Jesus' rock star moment. Jerusalem's streets echoed--and rightfully so--with the praises of His disciples and others who had heard Jesus had just arrived. If the paparazzi were around, they'd be thronging his red carpet, eager to catch a glimpse, snap a photo, and interview those praising His name.

Yes, this is the same Jesus who raised Lazarus.
Oh, fed thousands with a Happy Meal.
And freed the tormented from their mental chains.
Forgave sin.
Told the self-righteous religious leaders what they really were made of.
The list could go on, and like John said, "All the world could not contain the books."

But the whole rock star thing? People thought they knew Him. They'd heard, Him speak, watched the miracles, maybe even tagged along as He traveled. Surely He'd do something to fix that whole Roman occupation problem. Anyone who can call someone back from the grave or stare the devil in the face should surely be able to throw off Roman rule.

Less than a week later, a sham trial, and then inciting a riot, the crowd changed. They chose Barabbas, and what would have been a first-century media frenzy changed from an atmosphere of "Jesus, Rock Star" to "Jesus--the heretic and political insurgent."

He knew all this, and as He rode into town during his rock star moment, He wept for them because He knew what would happen.

"When the city came into view, he wept over it. "If you had only recognized this day, and everything that was good for you! But now it's too late. In the days ahead your enemies are going to bring up their heavy artillery and surround you, pressing in from every side. They'll smash you and your babies on the pavement. Not one stone will be left intact. All this because you didn't recognize and welcome God's personal visit."