I caught a few words from Glen Beck yesterday declaring the parallel between Moses and the children of Israel and America the land of the free. It is not unusual for these over the top characterizations. Usually they come from the far right or evangelicals; in this case it was from a Mormon. Wherever it comes from, it does not enhance us as a nation or as Christians in this land. Just the opposite, it diminishes us to turn our love for America into a religious love for a nation we have deemed the promised land and divinely ordained people of God.
We who call ourselves Americans have much to be grateful for -- we have a heritage of liberty that was provided for us by those who gave their limbs and lives in forests, jungles, and fields... on beaches, city streets, and desert sands. We have a history of hard working people who cleared fields and built highways and established factories and business. We have a rich treasure of natural resources, wonders, and beauty. Of all people, we have much to be grateful for and it would not hurt us to ask from time to time, "why is it that I should enjoy so much and from whom comes all of these blessings?"
America may be a nation of Christians (the vast majority) but we are not a Christian nation. For that reason we must be careful about well intentioned but over extended religious metaphors. We who call ourselves Christians in this rich and blessed land would do well to remind each and every American that with much blessing comes much responsibility. Our blessings will speak shame to us if we use them foolishly or selfishly. Our treasures will become a great burden upon us if we define life and its richness only by financial or material wealth. Our legacy of liberty is made hollow when it excuses or justifies immorality. If we can serve as a conscience to America without beating our chests with self-serving righteousness and speak truth in love, then we will serve our nation well and be worthy of this blessed citizenship.
So whether in Church this morning or preparing for the big feast, we who call ourselves Christians in America must not forget that we do not give thanks merely for blessings but for Him who is the source of all that is good and true and beautiful. We know this God as the Creator of all and the Giver of every good gift because He has revealed Himself through His Son. We look at life and we look at all that this life values, through the lens of the cross and empty tomb. The Lord has done great things for us and to us... let us make Him known to all the ends of the earth with praise and thanksgiving.
A Blessed Thanksgiving to you all...