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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Ritual Exchange of Power

Every two years we drive to the fire station and overthrow the government, and there’s not a policeman in the street. 
~Will McAvoy, character in Newsroom

Now a new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.
~Exodus 1

Yesterday the people of the United States went to fire stations, schools, community centers, churches, and courthouses to participate in the peaceful ritual of choosing leaders at all levels of government.

Today some are celebrating victory while others nurse the wounds of defeat. A huge sigh of relief can also be heard from many because whether their candidate(s) won or lost, at least it's over for now. 

However, the ebb and flow of kings, empires, congresses, and city councils continues as the ritual of the next elections is already in motion.  And as the preacher of Ecclesiastes says, "There is nothing new under the sun."

Just beneath the surface of all exchanges of power, peaceful or not, lies the eternal human search for benevolent leadership that offers safety for purposeful participation by those being led.  Even if an empire "forgets Joseph" there will always come along a Moses to stir the memory, reminding that ultimately the leadership and deliverance we seek is not in the ballot box or coup d'etat, but rather beyond us and within us, in both burning bushes and flaming hearts.      

When the Master governs, the people
are hardly aware that he exists...
...The Master doesn't talk, he acts.
When his work is done,
the people say, "Amazing:
we did it, all by ourselves!"

~Tao Te Ching, #17

My kingdom is not from this world...I came into the world, to testify to the truth.
~Jesus, to Pilate

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