Wednesday, July 14, 2010

July 14 – Bastille Day

Today’s portion, as we journey through the list of instructions in Romans 12 and 13, is long, and it is found in the first five verses of Romans 13.

Five verses to cover a subject that could not only have kept our prison’s empty . . . we could use them as schools or shelters . . . but these words, rightly understood, could guard children from danger and help make a nation strong and independent in strength and righteousness. Shall we take a look? Oh . . . by the way . . . in real time, it can be costly to embrace what we read!

“Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God's minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God's minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience' sake.”

On this day in Paris, 1789, the people of the city stormed the Bastille Prison, seeking the release of political prisoners, in a show of force against the monarchy, and in the hope of acquiring arms and ammunition that were stored there. As it happens there were only seven minor prisoners there.

Revolution is a dangerous thing. In many ways, Bastille Day led to the Reign of Terror in France. The idea in national catharsis will always be that those willing to lay their lives down for the sake of others will establish peace. Those who want only to seize authority and take life, will establish a tyranny of the people.

The principle just the same at the stores in the mall and the businesses in town . . . and in the homes along the lane . . .

. . . and in our hearts in Cor Unum.

"Restoring Streets in Which to Dwell"
photo by Kerry

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