“Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
My chosen, in who my soul delights;
I have put my spirit upon him;
He will bring forth justice to the nations.” Isaiah 42:1
Today is President’s Day, when we honor George Washington and Abraham Lincoln by closing schools and banks. Actually, we honor their names because they worked powerfully to bring forth justice.
George Washington led our new country, and he resisted constant efforts to make him a king. Our new government was an experiment, an attempt to preserve the rights of all Americans, and it worked better than any government in doing so.
Abraham Lincoln is rightly celebrated for freeing the slaves, but also for not destroying the Southern states that had seceded from the Union. (I’m sure some folks will argue that point.)
Two great men, great leaders, great Americans. But make no mistake, neither man claimed to be God’s Messiah, bringing justice to the whole world. We Americans are prone to seeing God’s hand in forming our nation as clear evidence that we are now God’s People, set apart to bring peace and justice to the whole world in His Name.
We Americans may well be entrusted with that call, but that does not change God’s plan: to bring Jesus Christ, the one and only Messiah to the world, as the King of the Jews, God’s Chosen People. Jesus’ call to bring freedom from sin and unity in love and justice to all nations is a much bigger call than any leader can achieve. And we Americans are not The Children of Abraham, God’s Chosen People. Let’s try to keep our pride in check as we honor God’s Name in our time!
Nonetheless, let’s keep doing God’s will, as we love and work with our neighbors, persuading and demonstrating that God’s Ways are the good ways. (2Corinthians 5:11) And as we pray without ceasing!
Pastor Dave Crawford