"All words are symbols that represent unspeakable realities. Which is also why words are magical." (Donald Miller tweet)

Monday, April 11, 2016

pastor ponderings

As part of my own faith, I have a (not perfect) habit of reading Scripture each day. Sometimes I read a very short amount, allowing time for that one little bit to sink in. Sometimes I read lots at a time. Right now, I'm in the "lots at a time" phase, which means reading several selected segments from different parts of the Bible. 

Which led to this juxtaposition today, demonstrating the social contract or expectation between a king and his people in ancient Israel.

First - what would help him stay on track. I don't remember ever noticing this before. Essentially, he was supposed to hand-copy Scripture, in the presence of religious leaders (probably to make sure he copied accurately), and then read some of it every day. It would keep him from becoming ... um ... a tyrannical idiot. It would keep his head and heart in the right space, with humility as key.

“When he sits on the throne as king, he must copy for himself this body of instruction on a scroll in the presence of the Levitical priests. He must always keep that copy with him and read it daily as long as he lives. That way he will learn to fear the LORD his God by obeying all the terms of these instructions and decrees. This regular reading will prevent him from becoming proud and acting as if he is above his fellow citizens. It will also prevent him from turning away from these commands in the smallest way.”
Deuteronomy 17:18-20 NLT

Second - the people prayed for him - that what mattered to God - people, especially vulnerable people - would matter to him.

“Give your love of justice to the king, O God, and righteousness to the king’s son. Help him judge your people in the right way; let the poor always be treated fairly.

Help him to defend the poor, to rescue the children of the needy, and to crush their oppressors.

He will rescue the poor when they cry to him; he will help the oppressed, who have no one to defend them. He feels pity for the weak and the needy, and he will rescue them. He will redeem them from oppression and violence, for their lives are precious to him.”
Psalms 72:1-2, 4, 12-14 NLT

Probably can't apply this completely to national leaders today, as our political system is not tied to a national faith system. (Although I do pray for my nation's leaders.)

But, it's not a bad approach for expectations between pastors and their congregations, i.e. leaders leading with humility and a heart for the most vulnerable (instead of always demanding respect and power from the people they lead) ... and people praying for their leaders, supporting them as they attempt to lead with a heart for God, and for the most vulnerable (instead of demanding that their wants be considered above anyone else's).

Interesting thought. 

1 comment:

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Interesting thought indeed...very beautifully written.