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Christians Owe Fealty to No Earthly Ruler and No Earthly Leader Offers Us Salvation

In his letter to the Colossians, Paul beautifully lays out the joyful truth about The One: "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers--all things have been created through him and for him. He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together."

To hold all things together indeed. Against this world's forces of entropy, what a blessing it is to have a spiritual center that will hold even if earthly affairs spin out of control.

And yes, The One who is or should be our center is one who was not exalted by us but who instead suffered and died, as an innocent, for us. We can look at Him, as one thief on a cross did (in today's Gospel) and see what we moderns would call "a loser" hanging there on the neighboring cross.

Or, instead, we can look at the suffering savior and believe, just as the other thief did: "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom."

To which, Jesus replied, "Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise."

This is a great promise. This is the best news we can ever receive. And no leader of earthly government can provide it for us.

On this day, then, let us celebrate. Again citing Paul, let us rejoice that God has, through a beloved Son, "enabled [us] to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light."

It is an inheritance not of lucre but of a Holy Spirit that fulfills us. Yes, let us all hail that heavenly king who offers us such a heritage.

Quin Hillyer is a veteran conservative columnist. He has an undergraduate degree in Theology from Georgetown University and has served for years in various forms of ecumenical lay leadership.