This past Sunday in our E91 contemporary worship services, we sang the words, “In Christ alone my hope is found. He is my light, my strength, my song. This cornerstone, this solid ground, firm through the fiercest drought and storm.”
As we are quickly approaching the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games (yes, they’re still being called the 2020 games), be prepared for a fierce drought and storm. Be prepared for an onslaught of news coverage of protests more than athletic performances. Be prepared to have your family conversations centered more on how our individual tribes and political persuasions trump (no pun intended) our “United” States of America. Be prepared for more people decrying the racial injustices of our nation and others decrying the disrespect of our nation.
My how divided our United States of America seems to be.
In my opinion, both sides have a message to share, but the message is missed due to digging in our heels and manifesting an unwillingness to listen to each other.
Has there been, and does there continue to be, racial injustice in America? Yes. What should we do about it? Eradicate it. How? By the justice of God lived out through the Body of Christ in real action. This is where we administer the justice and truth of God within the systems of education, economics, law, government, media, and business. And let’s try this one, “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39). And who is your neighbor? How about the person who might not be a part of your political, racial, or socio-economic tribe (Luke 10:25-37)?
Some of you reading this will say I’m just buying into a political agenda of the left. You’re wrong. God is a just God who calls us to stamp out injustice wherever it may rear its ugly head.
Should we honor and respect the ideals of our United States of America? Most definitely. “One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” “We are endowed by [our] Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” We take it for granted in our nation that, though we have not protected these rights as strongly, forthrightly, and earnestly as we should have for all people at all times, there is a unique quality of our nation’s call for freedom and justice that is rare in our global village.
Believe me, when I have traveled to post-communist countries, even today many of these nation’s residents who have spoken to me have said, “You are so blessed to have the freedoms you possess in America.”
Some of you reading this will say I’m just buying into a political agenda of the right. You’re wrong. God is a God of freedom and justice for all, and He has endowed us with these unalienable rights. The good ol’e U.S. of A. may have gotten (and continue to get) a number of things wrong, but the call to freedom and justice endowed within us as inalienable rights granted by God Himself is not one of them.
So, where do we go from here? We need to put down our swords and beat them into plowshares (Isaiah 2:4). We need to have serious, prayerful, and biblical thought given to how we “do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with our God” (Micah 6:8). And, most importantly, we need to center our conversations and actions around where I began this blog: “In Christ alone my hope is found. He is my light, my strength, my song.”