18 November 2021

I do not choose the texts for today. I am using — and I link to the texts — the revised common reactionary. The text comes first. All scripture is given to us… and it is all for our behefit, in this time as any.

But in this crisis, these texts siand as a warning. The faithful are being bersecuted. There are those who are walking from their job. Yesterday I was asked by a technician why I was not my usual churpy self. The reason is that if we continue down this road all that I have done, for 15 years, is without value, and I’m grieving.

But the prophet speaks to the pagan King of Tyre, and the first deacon speaks to the apostate council of elders in Jerusalem. To both this is said: your empire and power will be taken away, and you will be held to account.

It is a fearful thing to rule a nation and not know you are in the hands of a God greived by your evil.

Ezekiel 28:1-10

28 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, say to the prince of Tyre, Thus says the Lord God:

“Because your heart is proud,
and you have said, ‘I am a god,
I sit in the seat of the gods,
in the heart of the seas’,
yet you are but a man, and no god,
though you make your heart like the heart of a god—
3 you are indeed wiser than Daniel;
no secret is hidden from you;
4 by your wisdom and your understanding
you have made wealth for yourself,
and have gathered gold and silver
into your treasuries;
5 by your great wisdom in your trade
you have increased your wealth,
and your heart has become proud in your wealth—
6 therefore thus says the Lord God:
Because you make your heart
like the heart of a god,
7 therefore, behold, I will bring foreigners upon you,
the most ruthless of the nations;
and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of your wisdom
and defile your splendour.
8 They shall thrust you down into the pit,
and you shall die the death of the slain
in the heart of the seas.
9 Will you still say, ‘I am a god’,
in the presence of those who kill you,
though you are but a man, and no god,
in the hands of those who slay you?
10 You shall die the death of the uncircumcised
by the hand of foreigners;
for I have spoken, declares the Lord God.”

Acts 7:54-8:1

54 Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth at him. 55 But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56 And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” 57 But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together[a] at him. 58 Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

8 And Saul approved of his execution.

And there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.

As it was in the beginning, so it will be now. The temptation facing progressive rulers is that of empire: be it the progressive worship of the United Nations [1] or the neoconservatives thinking they can continue to bring colour revolutions everywhere.

They hate those who look beyond the material, and see the an eternal kingdom, with a place for them promised. They weave narrative of lies, and for them speaking the truth is an act of rebellion.

But they will fade and fail. i do not know what is to come. I have to do the teaks before me today. Our resistance is a witness. For these people think they can make us better.

Only God can do that.

Do not be them. Do not be like them.

___________

1. Jacinda Ardern is following in the footsteps of Helen Clarke. Being Prime Minister, in her mind, is a stepping stone to greater things un the United Nations.