“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.” (Colossians 1:15–20, NIV 1984).
My Musings – During my morning commute, I heard some of the following words in a song from the 1960’s. The words were taken from Senator Ted Kennedy’s eulogy of his brother Robert, who days earlier had been assassinated while campaigning for President.
“He gave us strength in time of trouble, wisdom in time of uncertainty, and sharing in time of happiness. He will always be by our side. Love is not an easy feeling to put into words. Nor is loyalty, or trust, or joy. But he was all of these. He loved life completely and he lived it intensely.”
“My brother need not be idealized, or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life; to be remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it. Those of us who loved him and who take him to his rest today, pray that what he was to us and what he wished for others will some day come to pass for all the world.”
“As he said many times, in many parts of this nation, to those he touched and who sought to touch him — ‘some men see things as they are and say why, I dream things that never were and say why not.'”
I vividly remember these events, as I do so many events of the turbulent 1960’s. Yet as turbulent as they were, idealism, optimism and selfless devotion to the needs and concerns of others were not as rare a commodity as they seem to be today. Especially in the field of politics where public service should be the driving force instead of self-interest and ego. And as divided as the country was then, it seems to be even more so now.
Think of it, “strength in time of trouble, wisdom in time of uncertainty, and sharing in time of happiness.” Love, loyalty, trust and joy. “A good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it.” Perhaps he was being “idealized, or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life.” Perhaps not.
But there was such a life that could not be “idealized, or enlarged in death beyond what He was in life.” Because He was and is so much more.
He was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant. He grew up in another village, where he worked in a carpenter shop until he was 30. Then, for three years, he was an itinerant preacher.
He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family or owned a home. He didn’t go to college. He never lived in a big city. He never traveled 200 miles from the place where he was born. He did none of the things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but himself.
He was only 33 when the tide of public opinion turned against him. His friends ran away. One of them denied him. He was turned over to his enemies and went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed to a cross between two thieves. While he was dying, his executioners gambled for his garments, the only property he had on earth. When he was dead, he was laid in a borrowed grave, through the pity of a friend.
Twenty centuries have come and gone, and today he is [still] the central figure of the human race. I am well within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed, all the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned–put together–have not affected the life of man on this earth as much as that one, solitary life. (Attributed to James Allen Francis).
We’re looking for such a man or woman today to solve our problems and give us hope (be careful, one day it will be the anti-Christ). People then, were looking too, but rejected Him. Why? Because the things they dreamed of were too short-sighted. Jesus came to deliver a much greater dream. And He did.
My Advice – We can continue to “see things as they are and say why,” which will never solve anything. We can “dream things that never were and say why not,” but never live to see them come to fruition. We can put our trust in the promises of our favorite candidate or cause and end up being terribly disappointed and feeling empty. Or we can put our trust in the One who solved the real problem. The question is not why, but rather why not?