Recently in Brunei, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah mandated the closing of all businesses on Fridays during prayers and urged young people not to intermingle the sexes, but to seek God. While it is a noble calling to seek God, doing so while under compulsion is usually met with a degree of dissatisfaction: people object. This is why there is teenage rebellion by some. Brunei is no different. The leader is trying to compel the citizens to follow the Creator and trying to rectify the waywardness of his earlier years by stricter compliance now, but he has forgotten that a life lived in the presence of God is better than trying to take refuge in the Law. Getting people to know God via the Law, did not work under Israelite kings, and it has not worked in any nation since. It just keeps people out of trouble, and the Law is good.
People have reportedly been voting with their feet and staying away from the Mosque on during Jumaa prayers. Some have said that Bruneians vote with their feet, though they are very respectful and would not fathom protesting their leader. I would not recommend such an action since the Bible clearly says, “Do not curse God or the king.” But how wonderful it would be if the saints would, during this holiday season, vote with their feet and carry the good news of Christ’s birth to the people around them. This would make their feet truly beautiful!!
As I was meditating on this last evening, I had a glimpse of the Crown Prince voting with his feet and establishing the future direction of his nation by walking from the palace to a Christian chapel. If I may be so bold as to say it plainly, the Sultan’s family has the opportunity to follow the example of Zerubbabel and build up the house of God, which is the church of living God, the pillar and foundation of the Truth (1 Timothy 3:15). For the Sultan to truly find mercy, he must reconcile with the body of Christ. Now, I say that as a foreigner who does not have to live under the Sultan’s rule, but as one who knows the Word of God. God has entrusted the keys to the Kingdom to those who are victorious like David and Peter.
This narrative, reminds me a little of the account of Henry IV who walked to reconcile with the pope and wait in the snow for mercy & forgiveness. –
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walk_of_Canossa – Now I AM NOT ADVOCATING THAT THE CHURCH HUMILIATE THE SULTAN, the President or any other dignitary. But the church should indeed exercise her authority and right to pray for the Sultan and for the wisdom and salvation of Jesus to come upon the leaders of Brunei. And the leaders of the nations should humble themselves and serve the poor of the Land, even the Church of Jesus Christ of everyday saints.
Indeed, during this Christmas season, we should remember that this is what the Magi did. They left their place of comfort and went to see the King of kings: Jesus. They offered gifts. Would it not be appropriate for the Sultan, President of the United States of America, or the Prime Minister of Israel or any other nation to humbly bow before the Messiah by making a short pilgrimage to a local church fellowship and ruling with integrity and justice and mercy? This is surely the path of peace God desires.
We have the mystery of godliness, therefore, we must share it broadly (1 Timothy 3:16). Therefore, this year, how will you vote with your feet? Who will you go to to tell about Jesus who walked among us as the Prince of Peace?
In Christ, Merry Messiah-Month,
P.S. Yesterday, I had the privilege of sharing a little of the Good News with a student of priestly bearing from Iran and a sushi waiter from China who was interested in the Name.
Hip-hop, don’t stop: Get the Word to the world.