June 7, 2019

Good Friday morning ...

Yesterday was the 75th anniversary of the beginning of D-Day, June 6, 1944. A little reflection may be in order ... especially for any younger readers.

I was born in April 1945. World War II was winding down ... Europe and Japan were ravaged ... their cities in ruins ... their factories just piles of rubble ... their people exhausted, wearied from war.

The United States, on the other hand, had been spared war on her soil, though she had paid a heavy price to bring victory to both Europe and the Pacific. Her cities were thriving ... her factories were geared up for maximum production ... her people eager to get on with life ... her morale never higher. She had the most powerful armed forces in history, deployed as occupied forces throughout the world. And she alone had the atomic bomb!  She was a mighty force, an awesome, unstoppable power, a giant among nations. The United States was in the position to literally take over the world, if she wanted to. Before her lay an unprecedented imperialistic opportunity. It was easy pickings!

I have often silently asked myself: What would the Soviet Union have done in that position? What about Germany? Japan? What would China do today if in that same position? What about Iran ... North Korea ... or Venezuela?

The question, of course, is hypothetical. But what the United States did is not! The record stands! History speaks!

And what does history say? History says that the United States retooled herself for peace. She joined hands with people everywhere to rebuild the world, not parsimoniously, not hesitantly, but magnanimously, spontaneously, humbly ... with compassion and concern and hope for the future. She poured her industrial, agricultural, technical and financial might into Europe and Asia and Latin America and Africa ... sending billions and billions of dollars in aid and redevelopment all over the world. The United States literally put the world back on its feet! We have a great heritage and we dare not forget it or let modern-day historians rewrite our history.

Today a lot has changed! Today many are asking: What is becoming of our nation? Today we seem powerless to prevent the gradual euthanasia of some of America's founding values. Today a growing urgency of crisis has enveloped our country, staggered under the weight of our national debt, our divisive political scene, our ever-declining morals.

But you know what else has changed? Today the world is in the United States! Today every nation on earth is represented among our people. And today many millions more from these nations are seeking refuge within our borders, many legally, but some illegally. Why? Because the light of freedom still burns here ... clearly, brightly, radiantly ... like a beacon on a hill. Though tarnished and blemished and windswept and worn ... the light still burns in the "land of the free" ... the place we are privileged and blessed to call home.

Carefully, deliberately, slowly ... read the words that follow:

        Our Father's God to Thee --- Author of liberty --- to Thee we sing.
        Long may our land be bright with freedom's holy light.
        Protect us by Thy might, Great God and King.

That's quite a prayer, isn't it? Actually, it's the fourth and final verse of "America" ... perhaps better known as "My Country, 'Tis of Thee." It is a prayer we ought to be singing and praying every day as we face our future together. It gives recognition to God, the Author of liberty and seeks His protection so that our light of freedom can continue to shine from our shores.

May we each keep our country, its leaders and its citizens in our prayers, seeking Him who is above all to install right-thinking men and women in Washington's seat of power and to cover us with His blessing of grace where we fail.

Have a great weekend in the Lord ... and be mindful of the light of liberty we enjoy every day ...

PR

If My people, who are called by My name, humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. [II Chronicles 7:14]


Service Times

8:30 AM - Traditional Worship Service

9:40 AM - Sunday School & Bible Study Classes for all ages

11:00 AM - Contemporary Worship Service

Holy Communion is celebrated at both services on the first and third Sundays of each month.

Location

Grace Lutheran Church & School

12200 McCormick Road
Jacksonville, FL 32225

(904) 928-9136

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