I still think on a day like today, even with the no doubt thousands of “trendy” relevant thinkers (who I sometimes pretend to be, and sometimes make fun of) in the world of faith who are saying it already…something like this deserves to be said.
Because no matter how many are speaking words like these, there will be even more speaking what we are bringing to light. So here it is:
We are careful this weekend to not make America our idol.
We pray that God would bless the WORLD, which includes both America and Iraq. (and Zimbabwe, Columbia (even the FARC), China, Canada, Israel, etc.)
I am proud to be an American. We have some great things. We have the freedom to enjoy those things. A great many sacrifices have been made to build this. But I’m even more proud to be a citizen of the Kingdom of God, which pretty much trumps any flag or allegiance to it.
So celebrate. Light some fuses. Watch some expensive display of waste that probably could have been spent more responsibly. Cook out. Get sun burned.
But Sunday morning, when our worship leaders will no doubt ask many of us to sing our allegiance in the middle of a worship service…(which, even though it somehow was canonized into the Hymnal, probably isn’t the place for such things)….remember, and pray for God’s blessing outside of our nations borders as well as to those within them.
ps. Not that singing “God Bless America” on Sunday morning is wrong. But perhaps that God blessing America has a lot more to do with God’s revealing than it does our political/economic favor….and in that, we are called – especially when meeting together as the body – to lift up the world God has sent us into. i.e. ALL of it. So sing/pray loud, but be careful to remember that what happens in our churches across the world unifies us as the body of something much larger.