Greetings in Christ,
Tomorrow is the July 4th holiday in our country. It is our national celebration of who we are as Americans and the nation we have built. The promise of our revolution has not always come to all our citizens as easily or as fully as it could have, but we are a work in progress, striving to be what we established in the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution.
As you take time to celebrate and enjoy our unity as Americans, let us focus on the things that we hold in common and not obsess on the differences among us. The ideals around which we agree are those that can make our nation even stronger and greater while bickering over those areas where we disagree weakens us a nation.
It is popular in some circles these days to keep the hype up about how terrible those who disagree are as persons, but this is a behavior that can only serve to tear down, not build up. This is certainly not Christian behavior. If I disagree, it does not mean that I treat those with whom I disagree as outside of God’s grace and mercy. Remember, Jesus taught us to pray for our enemies, even if they persecute us. It is only the weak and fearful who must abuse and humiliate those who disagree with them.
It is our strength in Christ that allows us to pray even for our enemies and to seek ways to break down those barriers that people all too often seek to erect between one another. It is the Christ-like life that calls us to this and it can be a part of who we are as Americans.