Winner Take All or Common Good

January 17, 2017

Scripture Reading: Isaiah 9:1-4

They rejoice before you
   as with joy at the harvest,
   as people exult when dividing plunder.
For the yoke of their burden,
   and the bar across their shoulders,
   the rod of their oppressor,
   you have broken as on the day of Midian. –Isaiah 9:3b-4

I believe the government of the United States accurately reflects the will of the people. We want to have our cake and eat it too, which is, of course, impossible. The type of governance is not important. The Israelites brought on their own destruction within monarchies; we can do it within a democracy as we destroy the fail-safes of our checks and balances system.

Also, as with the Israelites God offers the means to break the rod of our oppressors. The problem lies in our willingness to part ways with that which overshadows us. The Babylonians and Assyrians were just the benefactors of Israelites’ disintegration from within. The true oppressors were the greed and lust for power that moved the focus of the nation from the Common Good for all to winner takes all in which case everybody eventually loses.

Now during the transfer of power in the USA, perhaps rather than get caught up in winners and losers, self-examination should be our focus. What do we really want out of life? How would we define the Common Good? How did Jesus define the Common Good? A re-reading of the Sermon on the Mount might provide insight. Matthew 25 would provide insight also.

Prayer: Lord, help us understand what it is you want for all your children. Amen.

All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized 
Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council 
of Churches of Christ in the United States of American. Used by permission. All rights