We are better off with only Jesus for our king.

Friday, 1/16/16

When the Israelites told Samuel that they wanted to be like other people. They were saying that instead of being just God’s people, they wanted to be ruled by a king. To dissuade them from that, Samuel described the many hardships that would come their way. The king would demand their complete service, punishing them at will.

That could make you think about Saudi Arabia and Thailand, two countries with kings in our times.  Two days ago our paper ran a report from Saudi Arabia about a blogger who ran a story disrespectful of their  royalty. They sentenced him to ten years in prison and they subjected him to a thousand blows with a cane. Then, last week a man in Thailand received a similar sentence for saying something their king saw as insulting.

Those stories got me to thinking how much our democracy does for us. Thanks to our street lighting and the well-marked roads, I drove here for sixty-five years without getting run into or hurt. I have electric cooking, cooling, wide-screen TV, all without being a wealthy man.

My appreciation for our good things is heightened by memories of my life from age twenty-five to thirty-five. I spent those years as the priest in a Korean town that our Marines had won back from North Korea. We had no paved roads, or electricity. We were frequently robbed. Our water came up a bucket at a time from a sixty foot well. It didn't just come up. We had to haul it up, then tote it into the house.

No one here runs the danger of being beaten with rods for insulting the head of our country. In fact, a guy would be booed out of places around here for saying anything nice about President Obama.

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