Monday, April 10, 2017

Making America Good Again: Speaking Truth to Power

Today, Neil Gorsuch was sworn in as the 101st  Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.   In many ways, the role of the Supreme Court is to speak truth to power.  America is blessed to have Justice Gorsuch, a man of deep faith with a profound understanding of how the Constitution shapes our nation and laws, on the bench.  I believe he will follow the law and not the whims of men.  As he swore in his oath:  "I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich..."

It seems fitting that the swearing in of a new Supreme Court Justice comes on the Monday of Holy Week.   The big event of Jesus' first full day in Jerusalem was his visit to the Temple and his judgment on what was going on there.  In the Gospel of Mark (11:15-19) it is described this way:

Then they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling and those who were buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves; and he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple.

He was teaching and saying, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.”

And when the chief priests and the scribes heard it, they kept looking for a way to kill him; for they were afraid of him, because the whole crowd was spellbound by his teaching. And when evening came, Jesus and his disciples went out of the city.

Throughout his ministry, Jesus spoke truth to the powerful and powerless alike.  Jesus is not simply 'revealing' the truth, or 'speaking' about what is true.  Christians believe that Jesus IS the truth.  Not only by what He says but because of who He IS.  Jesus is Truth.  I know that is a bit hard to grasp, but spend some time with it.  Truth is not a "thing" or a set a facts, truth is the person of Jesus Christ.  The truth of Jesus  - and the threat this truth was to their power - is why the Jewish leaders "were afraid of him."  Their fear infected the Romans, and later in the week, they worked together to bring Jesus' execution.  That is not the end of the story, but let's not rush to Easter.

Followers of Jesus must always have the courage to speak truth to power, no matter the cost. We may not do it in such a dramatic fashion or make such powerful enemies, but living the truth consistently is what followers of Jesus are called to do.

Each of us has opportunities to speak truth to power. In the voting booth to be sure, but also by holding elected officials accountable through writing, speaking out, attending meetings and, yes, protesting.  In our daily lives, we must speak truth to power when we see coworkers, friends and neighbors being treated unjustly.

We also speak truth to power by how we spend our money.  Much of the power in our culture lies in the marketplace and media.  Withhold your support from those organizations and individuals that fail to support what you value and know to be true. Stop feeding the beast.

Make America Good Again by following Jesus.  Boldly speak Truth to power through your words and actions.

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