The world seems as transfixed and captivated by the death of Pope John Paul II and the election of Pope Benedict XVI a few minutes ago as it did in 1969 when man first landed on the moon.
The moonwalk was a symbol of a bright, pioneering future, an exciting new world uniting all mankind. It was a world, born of science, of great hope and promise for technological and intellectual innovation.
The extraordinary reaction to leadership of the Roman Catholic Church is a symbol of hunger for the promise offered by its social, moral and peace-making teachings. It's a world, born of faith, of great hope and promise for peace and world stability.
The world witnessed political leaders of 70 nations, from every major faith tradition, respectfully attend the funeral for the late Pope. The world this morning celebrates the most stable succession of any world leader. An election above reproach, one that couldn't be stolen.
As a Protestant, it reminds me of the severe deficiencies of the Reformed church....the leadership vacuum, the lack of unity, the dishonesty and politics, the sad ecclesiastical splintering, the lack of respect for traditions. In fact, the general lack of respect. For others, for others' views and faiths, for peace.
At this moment, the Pope is the most powerful person on Earth not because of bombs, bribes, backbiting or battles. He is the most powerful person on Earth because of consistent moral leadership faithful to the teachings of Jesus Christ.
In 2005, the world desperately hungers after this type of strong, peacemaking leadership.....leadership that may no longer be possible from political or Protestant leaders.