We always talk about the cycle of violence. You know, that global cycle of violence that is played out in the ‘hood and favela, the shanty town and the slum, at home and abroad. It results in war and rumors of war…global wars and domestic wars.
With all the advances in technology, the only solution the powers that be can provide is more war. We have wars on terror and wars on crime…wars on drugs and wars on illegal immigration…we have wars on disease and wars on poverty. Yet, they all still persist.
It seems we have wars for the sake of having war. And every year the budget increases to provide more R&D to invent the next big killing device that will solve all of our problems. But the problems remain, and it’s like Tupac said: “they got money for wars but can’t feed the poor.”
In his 1993 hit single, “Keep Ya Head Up,” Tupac encourages the oppressed and those who suffer violence to be hopeful despite hopeless times. What could be more appropriate in these hopeless times?
But why are the times hopeless?
Surely it isn’t because our Great Society is broke. Again, Tupac reminds us: “they got money for wars but can’t feed the poor.” And it’s true. We now have bombs that can strike thousands of miles away from the comfort of our own homes. Kids train for this new age warfare simply by playing “Call of Duty” type video games. Yet, we cannot train kids to take care of themselves and their family?
Before Tupac, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said it. At the March on Washington for Jobs and Justice, Dr. King said that the Civil Rights Movement had come to DC to “dramatize a shameful condition,” and “cash a check” because although America had defaulted on its promissory note owed to the poor, he refused to believe that the bank of justice in the world’s leading nation could be bankrupt.
They got money for wars but can’t feed the poor?! Do you believe it?
Can’t be…impossible to believe. The only thing to believe is that if the powers that be wanted peace, there would be peace. So when the wise Tupac said to “keep ya head up,” he was indeed giving the right counsel.
Our help isn’t going to come from Left v. Right politics. The solution isn’t going to be found in the public or private sector. No government nor any corporation will establish the reign of peace and plenty. Only the true King of Peace can do that.
The wise leaders of the world recognized this King of Peace ages ago when they followed the star to where Jesus lay. African, Caucasian, and Asian: each of the world’s three peoples, descendant of Ham, Shem and Japheth, came to recognize this Child as the King who could bring them and their people lasting peace.
I mean, think about it: each of these three kings already had thriving kingdoms. What more could they need? They brought gifts of frankincense, gold and myrrh – each of value in their own homeland. It would have required a great deal of money to travel. I mean, try to plan a trip across the country for just a weekend, at a moment’s notice – because a star appeared in the sky! Only the 1% among us can pull that off! Yet, they had enough wealth to complete the journey from their respective homelands to Bethlehem. And, their kingdoms were so well established that they could leave their subjects, so they could travel, and were able to return to a kingdom still standing! Think of leaving your children him for just a few hours…let alone an entire kingdom!
Tupac could have said the same to them: they had money for wars and all sorts of things, but lacked the power to free their people from oppression and violence. Yet, these three kings were indeed three wise men. They recognized their weakness, and came to bow down before the true King of Peace.
And, that’s why you can keep ya head up! Tupac had the right idea. Keep ya head up and look to the hills from where your help comes. Keep ya head up and look to the Lord, who alone is able to save, redeem and preserve.
I want to show you the lesson we learn from king Solomon, as outlined by the prayer of his father king David. So, I offer this sermon: “The King of Peace is Our Only Hope.”
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