As I sat down to continue developing this site, a precursory prayer led me to quietly (and self-consciously) mutter-sing Battle Hymn of the Republic. Since God seemed to bring it up, I figured He had something to teach me about it.
“As He died to make men holy, let us live to make men free.” Those words resonated with me after the malicious destruction of anguished American cities this past week because of the death of George Floyd.
Mr. Floyd’s truly disturbing death at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer was the catalyst for our country’s current paroxysm. It is no doubt affecting your family in some way–some more intensely than others.
Freedom in God
At this time, can we remember that as believers we sit at the right hand of God this very moment? To help share the freedom that is found in Him? God supplies the power that we can use to help bring peace. We can help our children understand what their faith in Christ means at this time. Are we accepting the responsibility that faith entails? Are we teaching our family how faith in God can assuage the fear, heartbreak, violence and retribution they may be seeing online right now?
“And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8 (NIV)
Until today I hadn’t been aware that “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” had seemingly become an anthem for every cause. But I guess I was an example of the case. I was also reminded it was originally an anti-slavery anthem. So although these lyrics are referring to personal freedom from slavery, I can’t help but feel like so many people are exhibiting behaviors that show they (rightly or wrongly) don’t feel free. They don’t feel a personal power derived from God but are being deceived by a spirit of chaotic, desperate, false power. The greatest freedom we can seek is the freedom we experience through Christ. And with that freedom we can do what the Lord requires of us: “To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8, NIV).
Free to Live Well and Love
We are blessed to live in America as free men and women and in a Christian tradition. Our institutions are imperfect, however, and more work is to be done. Do your children hear from you about the responsibility that comes with our civil and religious freedom and tradition? Responsibility to love and serve others–which includes performing our jobs above reproach. To treat others as we would want to be treated. Stand boldly for Godly causes. Be properly subject to government authorities. Avoid seeking retribution.
History is in the making. Are we using it to help our children see the broader context of applying God’s truths to our world?