Summary: God has blessed us with a great country. There are assets to celebrate. There are shortcomings to mourn. Jesus looked over Jerusalem and expressed the same emotions that we should display for the United States. In the end, we need to pray for our country, stand strong and defend the USA.
Patriotic Christians #3
For the Love of Country
Theme: I believe that God has blessed us with a great country in which to live. There are many assets we should celebrate. There are also shortcomings we should mourn. Jesus looked over Jerusalem and expressed the same emotions that we should display for the United States. In the end, we need to pray for our country, stand strong and defend the USA.
We are considering what it means to be a patriotic Christian in our world today.
We’ve talked about praying for our country.
We’ve talked about praying for our leaders.
Today I want us to consider the love we have for our country.
In Luke 13, Jesus says these words about Jerusalem, the capital of His country:
34 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God’s messengers! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t let me. 35 And now, look, your house is abandoned. And you will never see me again until you say, ‘Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord!’” (Luke 13, NLT)
His words of prophecy are fulfilled in Luke 19.
41 As [Jesus] came closer to Jerusalem and saw the city ahead, he began to weep. 42 “How I wish today that you of all people would understand the way to peace. But now it is too late, and peace is hidden from your eyes. 43 Before long your enemies will build ramparts against your walls and encircle you and close in on you from every side. 44 They will crush you into the ground, and your children with you. Your enemies will not leave a single stone in place, because you did not recognize it when God visited you.” (Luke 19, NLT)
I believe you could say that Jesus love His people, His city, His nation. He loved Jerusalem so much so that he wept over the wrongs that had happened. He wept over the events that would happen in the future.
Jesus did not despise His country or wish ill upon it. Instead, He wanted nothing but the best for it, and it grieved Him to see how His people had rejected His teaching.
I think this morning that Jesus’ example of patriotism perfected can provide a guidepost to Christians today.
Ryan Hamm, in an article for Christianity Today, writes:
If we apply Christ's words to today, it might mean that we celebrate the times our nation does something great—the times it gives a voice to the voiceless. It doesn't mean we totally deny a love or appreciation for our country, or throw up our hands feeling we can't make it better. Like it or not, we're part of whatever community into which we're born, and proper patriotism takes note of the in-born love many of us have along with a desire to make our home nations as good as they can be. Christ's words mean we embrace a healthy love for country and don't diminish the godly notion that it's okay to love the place from which you come.
But Jesus' lament also means we mourn the times when our nation does something wrong. It means tempering our love for country with the knowledge that there are times our countries will get it wrong. Because if you look just under the pomp of most nations, there are some pretty ugly wounds.
G. K. Chesterton sums up this stance perfectly in The Defendant. “‘My country, right or wrong,’ is a thing that no patriot would think of saying except in a desperate case,” Chesterton writes. “It is like saying, ‘My mother, drunk or sober.’ No doubt if a decent man's mother took to drink he would share her troubles to the last; but to talk as if he would be in a state of … [happy] indifference as to whether his mother took to drink or not is certainly not the language of men who know the great mystery.” In other words, true, good patriotism lies in the ability to judge one's nation in its successes and its shortcomings.
We live in the greatest nation in the world today, I believe.
We have a great history.
We have a great present.
We have a great future.
But we are not perfect. There have been mistakes in our past — things of which we are not proud.
There are mistakes in our present — things going on today that should make us weep.
There will be mistakes in our future.
We are human. There have been sins and mistakes since Adam and Eve ate the fruit in the Garden of Eden.
But I believe today that God has blessed us. God has blessed our nation. And that is nothing for us to take for granted today.