The yellow and white flags of the Vatican are down.
The yellow and white flags of the Vatican are down. But who will forget the unprecedented national fanfare that accompanied the first visit of Pope Benedict XVI to this nation last week? Personally welcomed and greeted at Andrews Air Force Base by President Bush and his wife, feted at the White House with a regal welcoming ceremony attended by more invited guests than any previous such presidential event, two standing-room-only masses celebrated in a pair of iconic baseball stadiums in Washington and New York, adulated by the news media, an address to the leaders of the world at the United Nations—it was surely an unforgettable week for the pope as well!
And as a colleague of mine observed in his blog-letter to his readers, what was also noteworthy was the papal absence in this itinerary. In a gala celebration thrown by the White House on the evening of the pope’s birthday, noticeably missing at that party hosted by arguably the most powerful political leader in the world was the guest of honor. He was attending a prayer service with his bishops. Though unintentional perhaps, the contrast was inescapable.
The point? Moral leadership is what the world hungers for in this hour of history. The protracted election campaigns of both parties in this nation have been a reminder that moral leadership does not naturally ensue from the pursuit of the highest office in the land. Nor does winning that office ipso facto bequeath the mantle of moral strength to the occupant.
So in the face of a crisis, where is the world to turn for moral authority?
It would be simple to simply answer, to God. But whose God? The God of the majority? The God of the most powerful? The God of the most persuasive? While privately, citizens of the world naturally turn to their own God, history has taught that in a crisis nations turn to leaders—the world would do the same.
Which being interpreted means that those who worship the Creator God have a window of opportunity that may not be long this open. Now more than ever it is destiny’s calling to be about our Father’s business, declaring far and wide: “Fear God and give glory to him . . . . and worship him who made heaven and earth” (Revelation 14:7).
That’s the invitation of “The Sabbath” and “God’s Party” that end today. Download the podcasts, ponder the teaching, and spread the good news. For in a time of moral crisis and global need, it is the Creator alone who must move front and center.