Summary: An interesting analysis of the information presented on the United States Dollar Bill, focusing on the national motto of our country: "In God We Trust."
Proverbs 3:5-6 7-9-06 IN GOD WE TRUST
Since I have teenagers, I have been reading this Zits comic strip of late. It seems to catch where I am in relationship to my teens pretty well. I showed you some a couple weeks ago. Here’s another one:
(Slide: Zits comic strip 7/7/06. Jeremy’s dad is bending over to pick up a penny. Jeremy starts ranting “I don’t get this connection you have with pennies dad. The penny is an anachronism. It’s obsolete! It’s like…” he trails off as the next frame shows his old-fashioned dad proudly holding up his penny. Then says, “On second thought, maybe I do see the connection.”) Ouch!
Of course, there’s been a discussion for some time now to eliminate the penny and just round everything to the nearest nickel. And it probably would make good economic sense, since the penny actually costs more than a penny to make. The U.S. mint estimates that rising metal prices and other costs will increase their cost for making each penny to about 1.23 cents. But I kind of hope they won’t do it. Because like poor Jeremy’s dad, I have to admit, I’m obsolete. I almost never miss the opportunity to pick up a lost penny. Not just because I’m greedy even for a little bit, but because I always like to read and embrace the national motto of our country: “In God we Trust.” That got me to thinking again about our country’s solid Christian foundations and now about some of the judges in our country trying to run away from those foundations. There is a definite desire on the part of a few to remove every vestige of God from government. And that’s a mistake. We talked about it last week as we celebrated our nation’s freedom. I quoted President, John Adams, who once said, “Our constitution is designed for a religious and moral people. It is wholly inadequate to govern any other.’’ It’s true. Folks, trusting in God presents no threat whatsoever to the freedom of our country and it’s people. But removing God from government presents a very grave threat indeed.
Folks, I want each of you to pull out a dollar bill if you have one, or get where you can see one. This is going to be our object lesson today. Today I want to change this dollar bill for you, from an object of greed, to a tool for witnessing to your faith. If you turn to the back side, you will see two circles.
(Slide: Scanned picture of the back of dollar)
Those circles together comprise what is known as the “Great Seal of the United States. The first Continental Congress requested that Benjamin Franklin and a group of men come up with a seal. It took them four years to accomplish this task and another two years to get it approved.
The right hand circle is interesting.
(Slide: Scanned picture of the right part of seal)
Slightly modified, it is the seal of the President of the United States and you might not notice it, but it is generally visible in the background whenever he speaks. The Bald Eagle was selected for the seal and also as our national bird because he is not afraid of a storm – he is strong enough and smart enough to soar above it.
The shield on the eagle is unsupported, signifying that our country can stand on it’s own (in the context of the time, without England).
In the eagle’s beak we have the famous Latin words: “E Pluribus Unum”, meaning, “Out of many, one.” This of course symbolizes the many states that formed to make the union of the United States. Of course, I’d ask you to consider how well those words apply to us also as God’s family. Out of so many who sometimes have so little in common other than our sinfulness, God has made us into one body. Paul put it very simply to the Corinthians: “The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ.”
Notice what the Eagle holds in his talons: An olive branch and arrows. This country wants peace, but we will never be afraid to fight to preserve peace. The eagle always wants to face the olive branch, but in time of war, his gaze will reluctantly turn toward the arrows.
You know they say the number 13 is an unlucky number. If you believe that, you’d better not carry around a dollar bill, ‘cause 13 is all over it. Because we had13 original colonies there are 13 stripes on the flag, 13 steps on the Pyramid, 13 letters in “E Pluribus Unum” and in “Annuit Coeptis”, 13 stars above the Eagle (by the way, those little rays surrounding the stars are meant to show the glory of God – shining on our country). There are13 bars on the shield, 13 leaves on the olive branch and 13 olives, and 13 arrows. And I might have missed some other 13s.