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Obeying the First Commandment

by | Aug 14, 2021 | UMW-Conference-Mailchimp

Connie L. Hegeman, mission coordinator of spiritual growth

Our prayers are with Connie, who has needed to resign as the mission coordinator of spiritual growth. We thank Connie for her service on the Conference Leadership Team.

“I am the Lord your God. You shall have no other gods before me.” – Exodus 20:2-3

Recently, one of the suggested scripture readings from the Common Lectionary was I Samuel 8:4-20. In this passage, the Israelites, in their dissatisfaction with God’s presence and provision, demand to have a human king to lead them into battle. Evidently, God was not enough. Samuel warns them of the dangers of trading their freedom in God for security in battle citing the conscription of children, high taxes, and possible slavery. But security won the day … and God allowed a human king. We know the history. This violation of the first commandment brought suffering to the people of Israel.

What lessons can we take from this story in 2021. While kings and queens are not in fashion, that does not make us immune from idol worship and the cult of personality. We must recognize that human leaders above all, must be servants and people of character. Servant leadership and character know no party. Men and women who are leaders are still human beings, with flaws and weaknesses as well as gifts and talents. A true servant leader invites the voice of all those they serve to the table and welcomes the check and balance of dialogue, criticism, and yes, dissent.

True love of country is rooted in the admission that perfection has not been reached and that the constant goal of each and every one of us is the betterment of the system that all may be served. “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33). When we seek first God’s Kingdom, we stand a much better chance of serving our brothers and sisters and our country in a way that is beneficial. Worship God, serve others.

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