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I'm reading a book a friend recommended, The Myth of a Christian Nation. There are parts I like and parts I don't like, but one very postitive thing it is doing is forcing me to examine my view of government.

A key passage for many people when they think about government is Romans 13:1-6:

When, exactly, does Jesus work with us? What does the partnership look like. I think that at least sometimes, the part that Jesus plays is somewhere in the middle.

Perhaps it is because I am a bit of a "scribe" myself, but Jesus' message to one would-be follower (Matthew 8:19-20) has haunted me for several days now. You would expect Jesus to answer anyone who says to him, "Teacher, I will follower you wherever you go!" a little more enthusiastically.

I recently finished a quick read of the Gospel of Mark and was struck by Jesus' careful awareness of bystanders. In Mark 10:17-22, for example, Jesus is approached by an individual and has a short, intense conversation with him about wealth. The next thing Jesus does is "look around" to see who was watching. Later in the chapter (10:39-42), he says something that upsets the people who overheard his conversation, so he calls them over to straighten it out.

The Psalms are full of drama: love and loss, hurt and longing. This morning I have been looking at the drama in Psalm 34. The little bit of “extra” that you get with a few of the Psalms says that David wrote this piece of poetry during a very intense time in his life: on the run from his king, Saul, separated from his best friend, Jonathan, and dismissed - after some desperate play acting - from the neighboring, enemy kingdom that he had tried to find refuge in. It is very likely that David wrote this Psalm sitting in a cave. (See 1 Samuel 21:10-22:1 for details.)