BY BRIAN JACK - FIRST LUTHERAN CHURCH — WEST OKOBOJI
God bless the U.S.A.!
What is a blessing anyway?
In the Old Testament God's blessing is tied to being fruitful, multiplying and having responsibility to care for his creation (Gen. 1:22-28). For God's servant Abram it's a promise of health, happiness, and success in life, and that through Abram, God will bless others (Gen 12:1-3).
All of these blessings were deeply rooted in dependent relationships with God (Psalm 1:1-3).
In the New Testament Jesus says: "Blessed are the poor in spirit … those who mourn … the meek … those who hunger … the merciful … for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Mathew 5:1-11). Jesus' examples of being blessed are not generally what come to mind as I watch the loud colorful explosions in the sky while Lee Greenwood belts out, "Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land, God bless the U.S.A." on July 4th.
Jesus' examples of those who are blessed include many who find themselves clearly dependent on God to answer their needs. In what way is your life being "blessed" with circumstances that cause you to be completely dependent on God?
Part of the blessing in these biblical examples is the promise that God, who rescues again and again throughout scripture, will answer and rescue those who depend on him.
In that sense, God has indeed blessed the U.S.A. and each one of us with the promise that when we find ourselves completely dependent on him he can and does answer with the promise of life and freedom with him now and always.