This week we celebrate the birth of our country. I am very grateful for the privilege of living in this great land, and I am thankful to each of you who served in the military so that I might enjoy the freedoms I have.
As I think about our country and the topic of patriotism, I know that it can quickly deteriorate to a heated discussion on politics. I am not interested in such a discussion as I write these words.
The United States of America reminds me of the church in many ways. Our ideals are beyond reproach. The truth is that if our country lived up to its ideals at every moment it would be a perfect country.
Alas, the USA is filled with sinful people, and we have all practiced our sinful ways.
And the church is much the same. I fear that many people are looking for the perfect church, expecting that every church member should also be perfect. And when it is discovered that we are not perfect, disillusionment is often immediate.
I have sadly watched as some walk away from church altogether, and others have moved from church to church in search of paradise on earth. It does not exist.
Again, our nation is great, and our system of government – while flawed in many ways – still seems to be the best around. But there have been times when we have failed miserably. And we will likely do so again and again.
And the church belongs to Jesus. It will one day be spotless as it stands before the Lord. But for today, we mess up far too often.
Even with our bruises and bumps, I plan to continue living right here in the good old USA. I hope by going to the polls and speaking with others to make this land even better than it has ever been.
I also plan to remain a part of the church of the Lord. And again, I hope to influence it to be more like Christ every day.
We should love our country. But we should love our Lord more. Pray for our nation and its leaders. And do the same for your church. I pray that God will bless America. And even more, that he will bless his church.