|The One, True God: The Blessed Trinity|
The Book Of The Prophet Zechariah [9:9-10] communicates the LORD’S promise to His People, the Israelites:
“Thus says the LORD: Rejoice heartily, O daughter Zion, shout for joy, O daughter Jerusalem! See, your king shall come to you; a just savior is he, meek, and riding on an ass, on a colt, the foal of an ass. He shall banish the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem; the warrior's bow shall be banished, and he shall proclaim peace to the nations. His dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.”
The Israelites fought for their political and national independence for over 3,000 years. They were slaves to the Egyptians, exiled to Babylon, subjected to Greek military takeover and then Roman military takeover. They have been persecuted in our own times by the Nazis, the Soviet Communists, and Muslim Extremists. The Jews’ national life has been precarious and difficult.
Our life as a nation has been easier. We've been blessed in many ways.
✠ We are wealthy in natural resources.
✠ Until the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2011, our soil had been free of war
✠ We have the highest standards of living in the world.
✠ We are leaders in world affairs, technology, and the exploration of outer space.
✠ We are an in-dependent nation. However...
Five questions haunt me during our celebration of Independence Day.
First: Are we losing sight of the truth that God has created human beings to be
inter-dependent -- are we losing sight of depending on God and each other
for our personal and national growth and happiness?
Second: Are we, as individuals and as a nation, becoming independent of GOD, setting
up our own gods?
Third: Who -- or what -- are our national gods, our false idols in the United States?
Is it the almighty dollar, celebrities, the gross national product, our movies
and TV and entertainments, our possessions? Psychics and Mediums?
The Internet? Drugs? Sex? Pornography? Leisure time? Football? Shopping?
|The god Moloch, to whom babies and|
children were burned as sacrifices.
Fourth: Can we proudly say that our nation is still
built upon the unchallengeable,
inalienable liberties that protect the
rights of all, as we allow more than a
million abortions of pre-born children per
year? As with the ancient Canaanites and
later, the Israelites, who betrayed God and
their Covenant with Him, we as a nation
are now offering human sacrifices to the
demonic god, Moloch (see image on left).
Fifth: Does our national moral code reflect
Gospel values like justice, modesty,
compassion, humility, prayerfulness,
moderation, fidelity, altruism, and
As human beings living in the democratic republic known as the United States of America, our spiritual lives are directly influenced by the cultural, political, and social prerogatives of our day.
In the embrace of our nation's Independence Day celebration, perhaps we might reflect upon whether we, personally as individuals, are IN-dependent of God and one another, or dependent on God and blessed by our INTER-dependence on one another.
The words of Christ in Saint Matthew’s Gospel [11:25-30] show us how to live a life of true freedom: A life built upon trusting God and helping one another carry our personal burdens.
At that time Jesus exclaimed: "I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to little ones. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him. Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light."
What God the Father has hidden from the sophisticated, the proud, and the clever, He has graciously revealed to those who depend upon Him like the smallest children -- while they serve others, and suffer for justice, make peace, and hunger for holiness.
During this Independence Day weekend, may we offer the Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, praise for the blessings of our free and bountiful nation: by recommitting ourselves to dependence upon God and Christ-like inter-dependence upon one another.
So as the Prophet Zechariah told the Israelites, and tells us, "rejoice heartily! Shout for joy" on this weekend of celebrating our nation's Independence Day!
And may God continue to bless these United States of America, and make us one nation under God, with liberty and justice for all -- born and unborn!