July 13, 2019
by Bob McConnell
Laity of Alleys Chapel UMC
On July 4th we celebrated the 243rd anniversary of our nation’s independence but the date to remember is April 18th. That’s the date in 1775 at Lexington and Concord when brave men who loved liberty more than life committed all they had for a cause they believed in. We are free today because of their sacrifice and that of countless others from that long, unbroken line of patriots that extends to this day.
As we bask in the warm and fuzzy feelings that come from our independence celebratory trappings such as parades, flags, hotdogs, watermelon and firecrackers we should pause to drill down below the glossy surface that casts a rose color on our spiritually so that we might see the true state of our spiritual condition.
Israel was unique among biblical peoples because she was chosen by God. “You only have I chosen of all the families of the earth…” (Amos 3:2). America is unique among modern nations because we were founded on Biblical principles. Patrick Henry wrote, “It cannot be too often repeated, or too strongly emphasized, that America was not founded by religionist, nor any religion, but by Christians, on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Today’s scripture reading from Amos clearly expresses God’s displeasure for Israel’s conduct. A few simple word substitutions give us a prophetic message for America today. The psalm of Asaph (Psalm 82) reminds us that God surely punishes injustice but that we can find comfort in the promise of His future judgement.
Our hope is found in John, Chapter 3. It has been said that 90% of the solution is defining the problem. The light that came into the world illuminates our failures, our shortcomings, our sins, and our need for redemption - but most importantly God’s only Son lights our pathway so we can find our way home.
O Lord, each day may we bask in Your light and in the words of the song Day by Day, “… see you more clearly, love you more dearly, and follow you more nearly, day by day.”