September 3, 2012
The Messiah is dead.
It makes a catchy headline, doesn’t it? Slipped in between the party patter – the aftermath from the Republican rally in Tampa, and the build-up for the Democratic shindig in Charlotte – is the news from Korea: Sun Myung Moon died at St. Mary’s Hospital in Seoul – a facility owned by one of the web of companies in Moon’s universe of holdings. He was 92…
Messiah? That’s no small claim. Some people are given that title with a small “m;” Moon awarded it to himself with a capital “M,” back in 2004 at the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, DC. In a ceremony attended by several members of Congress, he arranged for crowns to be carried on a white pillow by Congressman Danny K. Davis (D; IL), and then placed on him and his wife.
When he was a boy of 15 in North Korea, he claimed that Jesus appeared to him and asked him to complete the mission that Jesus started but never finished; his crucifixion kept him from fulfilling his purpose. The establishment of his Kingdom was now entrusted to young Moon. He took that seriously: he said that his mission was “to rule the world and replace Christianity with his own faith, which blended elements of Christianity, Confucianism and Korean folk religions” (Washington Times).
What most people would dismiss as the lunatic fringe – “Moonies” were always a default punch line for late night humor – allowed Messiah Moon to become a very rich and powerful man; an international figure who frequently interacted at the seats of power. Sun Myung Moon; dead at 92…
There’s something deeply embedded in our DNA: people long for a messiah (“a leader or savior of a particular group or cause”). Political messiahs come and go; business take-offs or turn-arounds are often led by men or women who assume that status (Zuckerberg? Jobs?). Personal Egypts always call-out for someone to lead the oppressed to the Promised Land, and a messiah is always the best person for the job. Really good campaigns are designed to play on that mysterious leaning toward someone who will take up the cause of the disadvantaged and lead them – at great personal sacrifice – to the place where their dreams will be fulfilled. That was the script in Tampa; it will also be on the teleprompter in Charlotte…
Put people in a hard place; their natural inclination is to ask the question: who’s going to get us out of here? That’s not surprising; it was part of the story going on around Jesus: “ As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. ‘Tell us,’ they said, ‘when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?’ Jesus answered: ‘Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, “I am the Christ” and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains…” (Matthew 24:3-8).
Jesus’ name was “Messiah,” and anyone laying claim to that title will have Him to contend with, someday. In the last few days, Sun met Son, and it was no meeting of equals. The self-crowned “M” met the Messiah on the throne – who was given His crown by His Father – and the exercise of authority followed. A biblical factoid: anyone claiming to be God is not ready to meet God.
We’re surrounded by people who are searching for a Savior; someone needs to help them find the real deal. He isn’t on the ballot in November; he isn’t on the cover of Forbes or Fortune; He isn’t looking for someone to become His successor and start a new religion.
This drama we call “Life” needs a Hero. That part has already been cast. I talked with Him this morning. He isn’t in Charlotte; He wasn’t in Tampa: He is on a throne, in Heaven… and He’s available.