December 5 | Advent Devotional

Righteous Leadership! Really? In this day and age and place?
From Ara Guekguezian
First Congregational Church
Jeremiah 23:5–6

We think it has never been this bad, this hard, this challenging. Jeremiah and his situation ought to resonate with us. The abuse of power is no new thing. It keeps happening over and over again, in place after place, nations, churches, schools, families. It seems it occurs wherever two or three are gathered, often even in Jesus’ name.

In the midst of a hopeless time as a nation continues to crumble, initially from decay within, then attack from without, a word comes. Jeremiah speaks the word of the Lord over 52 chapters. It is an indictment of the nation as well as a powerful word, accompanied by action, of hope and Promise.

Hearing the phrase, “the days are surely coming” strikes either fear or offers hope. A new leader will be raised up. One who rules with righteousness and wisdom. The leader will execute justice and righteousness in the land. The implication is that the present leadership is lacking in these qualities. For most in Judah and Israel, life stinks. The reality that there is both a Judah and Israel is an indictment of failure in both leaders, political and religious, and the entire people.

The Promise is that in the righteous leader’s days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. The name of the leader? The Lord is our righteousness.

In our time and place, we have the responsibility for selecting our leaders. Our criteria include smart, effective, good for business, good for the xxxxx class (my class of folk), Democratic, Republican, experienced, untainted by the muck and more of political experience. Jeremiah offers the one criteri-on, righteousness. Receive the gift offered. May the righteous Lord reign in you.

Prayer: Lord, I humbly ask that You reign in my mind, my heart, my life. That I may be yours now and forever. Amen.

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