My stomach turns when churches get involved in politics beyond praying for leaders (1 Timothy 2:1-2), submitting to the laws and lawmakers of the land (Romans 13:1-7), and dealing with moral issues that may also come up in political discussions. I also do not appreciate the notion that the United States of America has a corner on the gospel. The gospel of Christ knows no national exclusivity. So please don't misunderstand what I am about to say.
God sovereignly places each of us in particular places at particular times. In those places, God calls us to be salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16). We are also to pursue the well-being of those places with the goal of the good of God's kingdom. When God did deal primarily with one nation, we find in Psalm 122:6,9 "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem...for the sake of the house of the LORD our God, I will seek your good." When God's people were in exile in Babylon, Jeremiah wrote to the exiles and said in Jeremiah 29:7 "But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare." And under the new covenant when the gospel is going to all nations, the prayers for "kings and all who are in high positions" are so that "we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior." (1 Tim. 2:1-3)
As it is fitting to have a day to honor others whom God calls to particular tasks (like mothers or fathers), I'm thankful for Memorial Day to remember those in our military who have served and are serving our country. They help provide for us a place of freedom and peace where we can lead quiet, godly, dignified lives, worshiping our God and seeking his honor. They have been placed in their position by God and do not bear the sword in vain (Romans 13:1, 3-4; 1 Peter 2:13-17). So I am thankful for the service both of my grandfathers gave. I am thankful to my brother-in-law who bravely served our country, to 2 other brothers-in-law currently serving, and to the many others. I know I am a day late, but as a citizen of this country, I am thankful to God for the freedom and peace to worship God and for those who defend that freedom.
When I quote Scripture In this blog, unless otherwise indicated, the quotations are usually from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission.
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