Daily Meditations Published by IT Fellowship of North America & Europe Diocese of Mar Thoma Church
Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
AUTHORITY FROM ABOVE Rom
13:1-7 Let everyone be subject to the governing
authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has
established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.
How many times have you been running late for work,
speeding down the road, when you were pulled over and issued a ticket? Do
you think, "I'm so glad that officer pulled me over. I was driving
too fast and could have hurt myself or someone else!"? Of course
not. The thought, most likely, that's going thru your mind is, "Doesn't
he have anything better to do?" We never appreciate the fact that
this officer is making the road safe for pedestrians, other drivers, and
for us. We don't appreciate that the law allows us to drive free from the
chaos of reckless drivers. We find it annoying.
The passage says we need to obey government for two reasons: first,
there's the immediate and obvious reason of being punished by the
government itself. Second, there's the threat of being punished by God.
How many times have you lied to your boss and not been caught? Does it
feel good to know you got away with it or does your conscience make you
feel guilty? Therefore, it is necessary to submit to authorities, not
only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience
(Romans 13:5). I know it's easy to be discouraged by the things
government does. It's easy to complain about a president or even a boss.
That's not what God calls us to do. Submit to authority, every day, as if
you were submitting to God.
However, it's important to note that this passage on submitting to
authorities is surrounded by passages about love. As Christians, I
believe we have a higher calling of preserving social justice. If the
authority in our lives causes harm to our neighbors it's important to
take action and not just blindly follow a law. This does not mean
disobeying every law that is inconvenient for you. If people are truly
being mistreated because of the law we, as Christians, need to do
something just like Moses did when he took the Israelites out of Egypt.
For as Romans 9:17 says, "for the Scripture says to Pharaoh: 'I
raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you
and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.'
We have no greater example of submitting to authority than Jesus. He
broke the law because he knew it to be unjust and he healed on the
Sabbath. However, he submitted to the ultimate authority and he laid down
his life so that we might be saved.
0 Lord, all who exercise authority in our country and society especially
the President and all who hold offices in the state. Help them to put
their trust in you and seek from you wisdom and spiritual strength.
Implant in them the will to do good and a spirit of co-operation and
guide them in all their deliberations and decisions. Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
Authority based on love and social justice will sustain
Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church
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