Matthew 10:7 NIV78 - …Preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near.’
As a nation, July is our birthday month and it is accompanied by much celebration and hopefully, prayer. There are many things, both good and bad, that have made the United States unique, and at times contradictorily so. The cry for freedom was central to the founding of this nation, yet many of its people were under the brutal heel of slavery. The Founders claimed at least a respect for the Judeo-Christian God and His Scriptures, and yet behaved in ways both personally and politically that causes one to properly suspect the depth of that commitment. We have often cried out for justice, when in reality our hearts craved vengeance. We speak of equality, but at best we struggle in recognizing the God-given dignity and worth of a Human Soul.
Proverbs 14:34 NIV - Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin condemns any people.
The child upon the streets or in the womb, the poor living in blight and the aged living in obscurity, the broken and the outcast all of whom are souls for which Jesus has died. Our Nation often forgets these: the most vulnerable of SOULS, and even more dishearteningly, so does the Church that bears the Name of Christ.
Furthermore, our Society (both Secular and Religious) has forgotten the sacrifices of our forebears and we are suffering from a curious lack of curiosity and a despairing absence of seriousness. Realizing that I now run the risk of sounding like the “old guy” telling the neighborhood kids to get off of his lawn (although with our drought-imposed restrictions, I no longer worry about my lawn). Nevertheless, indulge me for a moment (especially my children’s generation): :-) Life is not a Bumper Sticker and theology is not limited to 140 characters in a text or a Social Media “post” or “hash-tag.” To celebrate “freedom,” “choice,” “equality,” and “love” is far costlier, profoundly deeper, and significantly more complex than the current national conversation tolerates.
The issues we face and what type of nation we shall leave to our children and our grandchildren are very serious and should not be diminished by a personal need to win an argument or to offer a clever thought backed up by a symbol of one’s “team.” It is as though politics has become its own religion and issues are now scored as though we were watching a sporting contest. We decide by whether a person has a “D” or an “R” after their name, if we will listen to them at all; and all the while the public dialogue becomes more coarse and our nation is being cynically divided and Balkanized by those in pursuit of raw power.
The Body of Christ MUST resist this assault to divide us, for we have a PRIESTLY RESPONSIBILITY to represent the LORD GOD to HUMANITY, and to PLEAD in SACRIFICIAL INTERCESSION before God on behalf of our families, our church, our community, and yes…our nation! This anointing is either released or hindered by our capacity to love and live in the UNITY of the Spirit within His Body.
Psalm 133:1-2 NKJV – Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brethren to dwell together in unity! 2 It is like the precious oil upon the head, Running down on the beard, The beard of Aaron, Running down on the edge of his garments.
Dr. Tobey Montgomery