Many of the ‘older generation’ grew up saying the pledge of allegiance every morning in school. Many also sang patriotic songs. Everyone felt on equal ground, looking together at the flag. Eyes were not on self or each other but on the flag. The pledge signified a commitment to guard our country’s freedoms for the future. Now instead of valuing unity, we are focusing on differences that divide us; even the flag and the pledge.
The divisions this year have been clearly focused on by the media. After the election emotions continue to run high. Some people are relieved, some angry, some fearful, some disconnected. Many, on both sides of issues, are afraid for their safety. People from foreign countries are afraid that families will be torn apart. The news media continues to focus on violence; someone is paying protestors. Young adults are trying to cope and understand.
We must remember that no one person can bring down the country.Change is not known to happen fast under government rule. The degrading morality in our country may have seemed to come about quickly. (It really occurred over time - at least the last 50 years.) Reestablishing morality is likely to be a slow process … and faces resistance as people have different views of morality. ‘One Nation under God’ is no longer a pledge that is true for all.
Pastor asked us to consider the four words:
One = unified, powerful
Nation = melting pot
Under= submitted to authority
God = a super power that reigns over a super nation.
Although many people may be tempted to close others out, true Christians need to recognize that scared people give us an opportunity to reach out. 1 Timothy 2:1-6 tells us to not just pray, but intercede for each other. Paul reminds us that we have One God and one mediator who wants everyone to be saved.
Today’s sermon point: Where there is great chaos, there is even greater opportunity to share Jesus.
Pray for all people; don’t argue with them. There are many ways to approach the current atmosphere displayed in personal contact and social media. Some want to hide their heads in the sand; others want to be defensive, to hunker down, isolate and protect themselves. There are those who are offensive and divisive, ridiculing and threatening others who have different opinions.
Christians can take a better approach by offering love and peace as encouraged by Galatians 5.
Jesus could have come as a powerful king (even more, as a God) but he humbled himself and used every situation to seek opportunity to share with others.
We are told in Luke 11:17 that Jesus stated that ‘a nation divided against itself will fall’. (Also see Matthew 12:25 and Mark 3:24-25.) This is a tool that Satan can use to his advantage.
It is hard for some of us to understand the fears of those in the other groups. All we can do is love and pray. We can be one person under God. We can intercede, praying with specifics, not just generalities, for individuals as well as leaders. We can be ready with our testimony.
Pastor directed us to do these three things:
1 Pray for those hurting, (intercede), and look for open doors.
2. Be careful with your words (be sensitive).
3. Love people. Smile at people. Say kind words.
Jesus died for those who scorned, hated, abused and crucified him. Loving starts with the individual and with the church.
I think this song is good for today. Speak Life.Verses for Today:
1 Timothy 2: 1 - 6 (NIV)
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time.
Lord, I pray that you will help me each morning to pray that I have an opportunity each day to love on someone; to share kindness and your message.