It seems that it has become customary for politicians to conclude their speeches with God Bless America. I often wonder is this a command, or a request? Those of us who know Scripture, realize that it can only be the latter. To be blessed by God, personally or as a nation, comes with requirements.
First, we must recognize that God is Sovereign. He is in charge. He has plans for us and for our nation. He is dealing with rebels – Angels and persons. He wills for us to love and obey him. He wills for us to love and serve one another.
Second, he wills that we live in community with him and one another. For this to happen we need to tear down the wall of separation, class, gender, race, and worldview which Satan uses to promote hostility. We must be committed to justice, mercy, and loving kindness for everyone. We need to believe that since all of us will one day give an account to God for what we have done and failed to do, we must protect freedom of conscience. He wills for us to give evidence that we are indeed his children by feeding the hungry, giving water to the thirsty and clothes to the naked, visiting the sick and those in prison, and doing other ministries to care for others. During a life time, this will mean that we will both serve and be served. Often at the same point in time we are an agent of service and an object of service. Imagine how wonderful this could be. Caring and being cared for.
Third, as persons, and as a nation, we should seek blessing from God in order that we will have resources to bless others. It is not a matter of declaring that you are more blessed than your neighbor. And while we might believe our nation is the best and most blessed, this should call forth gratitude, not arrogance. How can we promote freedom, good health, and the good news of the Gospel to nations around the world? These questions should be ever on our minds.
On Mother’s Day at the Sonic in East Columbus the two servers with whom we interacted wished us a blessed day. It had been. It was. Encounters of blessing flowed all around. This should characterize our relationships with others.