About a year and half ago, my wife and I (and over 90 other people) stood in front of a judge, during a solemn ceremony, where we joyfully recited these words:
“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
These words meant something very profound to us. It meant that we belong to a nation that we love, and that we worked very hard to be a part of. We haven’t stopped loving Bolivia, or Egypt (the nations where we were born). But, now we have a new nation for our family unit, and we are grateful and happy to be part of it. We are under no ilussion that a piece of paper, called citizenship certificate make us fit in the culture. We understand that after 10 years living in America, and now holding the blue passport, we still might not quite be treated like natives. But… we are thankful for the opportunity to be a part, and to help this great nation to keep moving forward, and meet the only hope of the world. Jesus the Lord.
That’s why, when I look at the many protests, hate speeches, and flag burnings of our new nation, it is simply sad and mind bogalling to me. I do understand freedom of speech, and I highly value it. But is there anything sacred anymore? Is there anything worth respecting and honoring?
I am reminded of the wise words of an old teacher that said to his students in a 2000 year old letter “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.” Galatians 5:13-15
Let’s not use our freedom to attack each other, and hurt our nation. Instead, how about we upgrade the standard of tolerance to RESPECT one another? Maybe we can give it a try. Maybe we can follow the standard of Jesus, that loved us to the ultimate sacrifice, in order to give us a chance to be his friends.
Please join me in praying for our nation, and our world.