There's a bustling and a scurrying about. In the air, there's forwardness. Americanís Going. Doing. Occupied with the work of our hands.
As a nation, we are blessed with progress. We go forward in our individual and our national lives. There is built into our country an upwardness, an uprightness, even, and we have the privileged burden to carry on. America's cross is large.
Oh, OH! I'm sorry! You thought that we could sit and relish the spoil? Revel in the thought? All our good is because we're so good! We're so above the rest of the world and that's why God has been obligated to bless us!
I'm a patriotic American and I'm angry that my fellow Americans and myself have an attitude of "God owes me" just because I'm an American. What a laissez-faire attitude! How abominable to my Lord who died on across that ALL might be saved. Do you and I cherish this cross and not realize that we have a cross to bear, ourselves? Both individually and as a nation.
I've heard recently of a church whose people are reaching out to an impoverished area of Africa and I wonder, "Is this a story?".
This event ought to be reality, not novelty. It out to be that our day-to-day stories are the "few" not participating with Christ in His gospel, not about the "few" who are participating! It should be more sensational that one church is not participating in Christ's gospel, rather than that one church is!
"Please, Lord, work in my own soul!" I can't judge because I'm already judged. But I can't be silent, either! I'd love that my shouting, here, produced one good deed, but, will it? Are there ears to hear? Do I have, even, ears to hear, myself?
God has blessed us immensely. No further word should be needed, but, silence is not golden in this instance. If I condemn myself in this speech, so be it!
Gratefully, Americans are going, doing, occupied with the work of our hands. But, if we are not doing it "as unto the least of these", our efforts are going to return void. I believe we are coming to a place in America that is crucially defining. Emptiness will plague the work of our hands if we do not consider our participation in the gospel. It's our cross and it is large.
We see poverty in our own country. We see desperation, disease, disillusionment. We say that our country should care for its own, first.
That's where you're wrong. There's a national and an individual cross to bear.
This one is yours, brother! And it's yours, sister!
The individual cross is to care for a neighbor, or, even, someone across town.
"Whoa! I can't believe my ears. Did you just ask that age-old question, 'Who's my neighbor?'". Yeah! Who IS your neighbor?!!! We have individual neighbors and national neighbors.
Our country is working damn hard around the globe. Whether you think the reasons or motives are pure in your holy eyes is of no concern to me. And, I don't believe it is of concern to God! Millions of Afghan and Iraqi people don't care the reasons, either, only that they see freedom on their horizon. . . just as America did 200 years ago.
Enough pondering. Enough posturing. America's early values were freedom and self control. These are side by side in mature Christians. Go and do good and let God work out the details.
Receive these words in kindness, for the anger I feel is kindness that won't let you die as an individual or as a nation.
America's cross is large. With great humility, step up to the privileged burden that you bear.