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regime change and the lottery

And he [Jesus c. AD 33] sat down opposite the treasury [at the Jerusalem Temple] and watched people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came and put in two lepta [50p coins], which make a kodrontes [pound]. And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”            Mark 12: 41-44


Regime change is the replacement of one regime by another. Jersey folk all want regime change in one way or another.


The BBC Radio Jersey weekday morning phone-ins always contain reasons for a regime change – in others. Why cannot others – those who are part of the Jersey regime - see the need for them to change?


A persistent thought cannot be smothered. It’s this. What regime change in yourself would you like to see?


Good question. But what’s the answer – in most cases amongst Jersey folk?


Is the answer a serious lottery win? Or. More generally, is what is sought by most people by way of regime change in fact a desired significant increase in wealth that would free them from work and uncertainty and suffering?


Some will not agree – and point to past lottery winners who have blown it all and ended up worse than before. In saying that, they will be thinking, “But it would be different if I won that money. I’ve got more sense than that”.


That person has not really had a regime change. Self is still their regime.


Also, a regime change through wealth would not enable any of us to remove the locks on our doors, the security devices on our possessions, the pin numbers on our accounts. We would continue to be troubled by others who are also seeking a regime change for themselves – by taking what’s mine.


So what? Well, what will it be like in heaven if folk there are self orientated? The kingdom of heaven was often proclaimed by Jesus Christ when he was here on earth (AD 0 – 33). What will that kingdom do about the activities of self-orientated people?


Take a fresh look at the incident described in bold above. It occurred in the final few days before Jesus selflessly and for others gave away his life to his cruel and condemned death on the cross near Jerusalem AD 33.


This poor widow did not retain one 50 pence coin for a bar of chocolate for herself. Both 50p coins went into the Temple treasury to be distributed to others.


Had this dear, husband-less woman had a regime change? A regime change deep inside her? Two things support this view.


First, she was no longer self-seeking – not even for a Mars bar for herself with the other 50p going to other people. Put another way, she in herself did not wish to win the lottery so as selfishly to live well when others didn’t. None of the other contributors to the Temple treasury had had such a regime change. They remained ostentatious.


Second, a serious regime change must have led her to know that Almighty God would provide for her. How else would she live?


Yes, this widow will be no trouble at all in the kingdom of heaven. I could even now give her all my pin numbers. She has changed. Heaven will be heaven if all who are there have experienced that kind of regime change.

“Regime change, substituting one tyrant for another tyrant, with the biggest tyrant pulling the puppet strings of all the tyrants, does not make for peace.” (Jeremiah Wright, 2003)
“Lord for ourselves; in living power remake us / Self on the cross and Christ upon the throne / Past put behind us, for the future take us / Lord of our lives, to live for Christ alone." (Timothy Dudley-Smith, Hymn writer)
Richard Syvret

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