September 22, 2014
Acts 18:9-11 (in context)
One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.” So Paul stayed in Corinth for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God.
Over the past few tumultuous years my family has adopted an explicit family motto or creed. I finally emblazoned it on a small wooden shield I cut out of a piece of plywood. The words of our creed?
WE TRUST GOD.
One of my children remarked the other day, “But Dad, it says this on all our money.” I thought to myself, “She’s right. But maybe that’s what’s wrong.” A nation with a “Christian” self-understanding would put such an inscription on its currency, but for a nation who does not understand itself as “Christian” such an inscription is utterly meaningless. It raises such questions as, “Who is God? Who are we? And what does it mean to “trust”?
In some measure, we are where we are today in the USA because we assumed that putting such inscriptions on our money and pledging allegiance flags of a nation “Under God” and praying at Friday night football games, would some how get it done. It didn’t.
WE TRUST GOD. I have decided that this inscription needs to find its way into our homes. This creed must become personal and familial and congregational again. It seems obvious, but it is not. It belongs just above the caption, “ToTo! I’ve a feeling we aren’t in Kansas anymore!”
We live in Corinth. It’s time we realized that trust in God must become insanely personal before it ever has a fighting chance of becoming anything resembling “corporate” again.
WHO IS GOD? WHO ARE WE? WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO TRUST? This comprises the curriculum behind our family’s creed.
What does this have to do with today’s text? Thanks for asking.
In a post-Christian nation, where the odds of making even a dent in the cultural fabric are overwhelmingly against you, we need to hear the Word of the Lord to Paul.
“Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you and noone is going to attack or harm you, because I have many people in this city.”
Living in a “Post-Christian” nation has a massive and little recognized upside. It is also a “Pre-Christian” nation.
The Big Lament: The United States of America is a “Post-Christian” nation. The even Bigger Opportunity: The United States of America is once again, a “Pre-Christian” nation.
In the end, it’s not even about a “Christian Nation” as though a “nation” could somehow be “Christian.” Jesus seems to be a lot more interested in building a Church and growing a Kingdom in the midst of nations.
WE TRUST GOD! I want my kids to touch that sign as they leave the house every time in the same way a Notre Dame Football Player touches the sign, “Play Like a Champion Today” as they enter the playing field.
COME HOLY SPIRIT!
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