America’s foreign language

There is much about the United States of America that one can be thankful for. Like any nation on earth it is a mixed bag. Great evils are in its founding, as well as its ongoing history. But at this point one has freedom to worship, as well as live with certain possibilities. Through hard work you can at least survive well, as long as not too many cards are stacked against you.

But when we compare the language of Jesus in scripture, particularly in the gospels, and from there worked out in the rest of the New Testament, there is a striking difference. The language of following Jesus and being the holy nation in him is often at odds, or at least odd to the American ideals. Perhaps the best of the American ideal would be to realize something of the American dream, and make that dream more accessible to others. Along with giving to the poor, especially in ways which will ennoble them, and help them to get on their feet and become contributors to society.

This post is not meant to slam the United States, nor to make anyone think less of what they have done in investing themselves into this nation. But it is meant to simply ask the question and direct our attention to King Jesus and his call to us in and through him. A call to a kingdom in which cross bearers are the ideal, servants are leaders, love to God and to neighbor is the watchword.

Of course any extent that the United States or any worldly entity has been impacted by the kingdom of God in Jesus, all well and good. But every entity has its overriding concern and principles. The kingdom of God come in Jesus is unique. Speaking a language toward living a life which at heart is distinctly different. Actually beneficial to the cultures and places where it takes root and grows. But because it lives to a different tune.

Out from the church is where this new ethic and reality takes place. A kingdom in and through Jesus not from or of this world, but meant for this world. Always challenging the heart of any earthly entity. But not meant to usurp the place of any. Finding a different place in Jesus, destined when Jesus returns to stand when all other kingdoms have fallen.