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If we have the daring to acknowledge Him

The Christian Federalist #6

“For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.  There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines.  These are but the beginnings of the birth pains. But be on your guard. For they will deliver you over to the councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them. And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations.  And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.  And brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death.  And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake.  But the one who endures to the end will be saved.”  (Mark 13:8- 13)

FOR THE LORD’S DAY

This morning I was reminded of the  prognostications I have been reading for several years indicating that the Sun is approaching a peak period of intense activity that could seriously disrupt devices on earth that generate or depend on electromagnetic energy.  It will be as if the Sun were to lay siege to the earth with a sustained barrage of EMP weapons.

Not that long ago, in historic terms, this kind of solar activity would have passed leaving the earth’s inhabitants pretty much unperturbed.  But in the past century humans have constructed an electromagnetic Tower of Babel, in which many have come to dwell.  Its base encompasses virtually all the major habitations of the  the earth. It is grounded in the common language that allows electronic devices to organize, encode and exchange information in purely mathematical terms.  So, it transcends the linguistic boundaries that otherwise distinguish and separate the nations of the earth from one another.  But, like the Biblical edifice at Babel, this tower of virtual unification stands to be utterly cast down, quite literally by a blast from heaven that disrupts the very substance that makes its existence possible.

However long or short these episodes prove to be, the possibility forces us to consider the radical isolation and vulnerability it portends, especially for people dependent, on the communities of thought and action whose existence entirely subsists in the now fragile substance of this new hallmark of man’s vaunting self-worship.

Once man’s self-idolization involved images carved of wood and stone.  Is it just a coincidence that the shining hour of the American Republic has come, and may be gone, in an era when the monuments of power are being cast and graven literally in something more fleeting even than the air; something for which, in a brief moment, nature and nature’s God may erase the ability to access every catalog and trace?

We know of the great nations of the past because, at the height of their power, they left some testament of their fleeting glory in a form that was in some respect more lasting than “such stuff as human dreams are made on.”  But what was the ‘stuff’ of the American dream except the people of, by, and for whom that dream was made.  There is no hope of its remembrance except in the living proof of their posterity.  Or else in the traces cast indelibly in some spiritual form, and carried through all time in the Noah’s ark of spiritual remembrance.  What can that be except the mind of God?

Now it is said of us, “they have forgotten God.”  So when we pass on, how shall our progeny remember the one  whom we forget?  But as we claimed sure proof of our identity (as the free and sovereign people self-governed in these United States) completely from His hand (“endowed by their Creator”), if  they know Him not how shall our posterity remember who we truly were?  Then would we say of them, if only God allowed, “Forgetting God, they have forgotten us.”

Thus does it seem clear that in forgetting God we forget ourselves, and thus make sure that every decent work, every plain but noble sacrifice that bears true witness to the story of America, will not be seen in light of its true greatness.  The dusty towns, the houses turned to dust;  the hearts that struggled past the violent, frontier passions of humanity to find, in right and justice, righteous law: the temperate path to something better than mere survival. These can be understood in their true worth only by hearts and minds that measure with a measure still discerned when every other source of power is gone except the one that powers the works of God.

His is the eye that values at their true worth the works of hands the world despises; and hearts whose treasured loves it counts for naught. America was meant to be the rising monument of their humility, not cast in stone, but stored up in the place where God remembers His righteousness; the place where He honors those who for “his righteous sentence” gave everything they had; who passed along the God inspired worth that He has given us to see, in every child conceived in hope of man’s common yet still divine vocation, the righteous use of liberty.

When all the lights go out, that hope of true liberty will go on shining still.  Remembering this, if we turn again to God, think what we may find in thus returning to the place where we began— The light that shines in the darkness, if we but have the daring to acknowledge Him.

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