What Ails America is a Spiritual Void
One favorite family tradition is attending the Christmas Eve service on Boerne’s Town Plaza. This year over 3500 people joined together to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
After worshiping through song, Pastor Jason Brown reminded the crowd that the real gift we receive came down from Heaven and was born in a manger. A humble manger that was ordinarily used as a feeding trough for animals and made of wood from a tree. Pastor Brown continued that Jesus also died on a tree in the form of a cross.
The significance and symbolism of a savior being born in a manger meant for animals is truly powerful. During His ministry Jesus associated with a variety of individuals that were viewed with contempt by society, among them a hated tax collector and prostitute. He rejected the legalism of the Pharisees, who represented the religious power structure of the day.
Many Israelites had a difficult time believing that a small child born in a manger could possibly be the savior of the world. Rather, prior to Jesus Christ, people were looking for a strong military or political figure to lead them out of servitude to the Roman Empire.
Many centuries earlier, Israelites longed for a King to lead them. What they got in a succession of kings was indeed a very mixed bag. Occasionally there would be a righteous king who proved to be both a fitting political as well as spiritual leader of the people.
However, more often than not, various sordid scoundrels ascended to the throne. During these eras the Israelites lived lives that were far from pleasing to God.
This makes one wonder; was it the kings of Israel who led their people into darkness, or were the bad kings symbolic of the corrupt condition of the Hebrew people?
This thought brings us to today, 2018 in the United States of America. To say that our national government has been dysfunctional for the better part of two decades is an understatement. Basic responsibilities such as approving a federal budget prior to the start of a fiscal year just doesn’t happen. Expecting budgets to live within our means and to be balanced seems beyond the imagination of such “leaders.” This is shameful.
As Americans, we should never give up in fighting to elect righteous leaders who represent the best of our nation and who act with wisdom in the best interests of the people. Too much blood, sweat, and tears were given to ensure our rights and freedoms, as the signers of our Declaration of Independence pledged to each other their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.
Yet we must also realize that expecting mere politicians to be the saviors of what ails our nation and world is way off the mark. What ails much of America is a spiritual void that no politician who promises all sorts of nice things can possibly fill.
Our culture today is dominated by Hollywood, media and academic elites who promote a humanism that is antithetical to a belief in a higher supreme being. Yet how has worshiping at this alter of ego and self-promotion helped solve our nation’s problems?
America is a diverse land which respects the rights of its 330 million inhabitants to worship whomever and however they choose to.
But instead of being lost in a world that focuses on self, it is time for us as a society to seek the kind of redemption that only a true savior can provide.
For those who observe Christianity, that savior is Jesus Christ, who came down from Heaven to be born in a lowly manger and died on the cross to offer salvation to a fallen world.
Mankind’s nature has not really changed since Jesus walked the earth. We remain a sinful people in need of redemption. May those who desire to follow Jesus be reminded of the “reason for the season” and dedicate their lives to positively impacting their communities and families in a righteous manner.
Written by Rich Sena and previously published in the Boerne Star