March 19, 2008

Listening to the talk about the presidential race on the radio got me to thinking about how we evaluate the public figures in our society.

We hold our potential leaders to a pretty high standard. They must be good at presenting themselves always in a good light, but be sincere and forthright and transparent at all times. They must have a proposed plan for solving each of the nation’s issues and problems, both at home and abroad, without consideration for the fact that by the time any of them reaches office, circumstances will have changed. They must get themselves elected within the current system, but advocate change in that very system as soon as they get elected.

The contradictions in our standards for our leaders reminded me of the time of year. How might it go?

This is All Things Considered at Jerusalem Public News Center.

Despite overwhelming popular support on Sunday, Jesus faced harsh criticism from political leaders today for inciting a riot in the temple square.

Supporters hailed his arrival to Jerusalem with palm branches and shouts of “hosanna” three days ago. Witnesses claim he has healed the blind and the lame.

Chief priests and leaders of the occupied Jewish nation, however, point to his radical tendencies. He allegedly overthrew tables in the temple square today stating, “you have made the house of prayer a den of thieves”. The resulting chaos left 30 injured and hundreds of doves and goats upsetting market transactions for several hours. Local peace-keeping forces were called in to contain the crowd.

One temple official, who asked to have his name withheld, states, “such pandemonium cannot continue. The Roman government will interfere if the Jewish nation does not address this problem for itself.”

Updates come in daily as tensions rise in the nation’s capitol.

How would we have evaluated Jesus in those times? Do we still maintain impossible standards for our leaders? What can we do to change that?

Let us pray:

Thank you, God, for Jesus, who met your standards and overturned many of ours. Amen.

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