I am one of those people often accused of being anti-American. That’s not true. I am not anti-American, I am just so pro-Kingdom of God, it looks like I am anti-American in comparison. If I get thrown in a lion’s den (like Daniel) or if I get run out of Thessalonica, (like Paul) for not pledging my allegiance to whatever power is usurping God’s place, that would be an honor. So I suppose that compounds the issue.
But I don’t think Jesus is anti-American in the slightest. So I am not. I doubt that he’s happy about everything the government does, but I leave that to him to work out. While He is working on that, I have no doubt that he loves every American right down to the hairs on their heads — and I know he loves his people who are all over the fifty states. Did you know there are over 220,000 Christian churches in the United States? That’s one for every 1500 people, or so, I think. God is one with them.
I don’t think we could say that God loves the “typical” American, since there isn’t one,
or that he loves what typifies Americans when sociologists talk about them. But there are some general characteristics that are probably worth lauding on the National
Holiday. Last night, I mentioned a few things I considered a blessing:
- country music
- rich people like Jon Bon Jovi giving away money (like to Habitat for Humanity and Project Home),
- the government’s support of home-buying and family-building
- the optimism that says things like “who says I can’t do that?”
Ultimately, my point was that we should walk around our city (and country) and find
something good in it like Paul did when he went to Athens. He told the Areopagus this, “As I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. “ In the forest of temples built to worship demons, Paul found a possibility. He found something he could report as good. I like that.
Life should be about seeing the Swiss cheese all around us instead of focusing on the holes. This should not only apply to the country, but to our intimate relationships, as well. It is all too easy to take a little trip around the “city” of our children, or birth families, or spouses, and note all the distressing issues, maybe even idols — and then get depressed, get scared, get mad, or get judgmental. It is great to walk around the “city” of our intimates and see what is good, even see where something in them is reaching out to the unknown God, or to imagine the unknown way God is going to save them in their distress.
I think that is how Jon Bon Jovi could walk around North Philadelphia with wise guides like the leaders of Habitat for Humanity or Project Home and see homes in the holes. That is how you and I can look around ourselves or our intimates and see wholeness in the holes. Who says we shouldn’t do that?