A Land Divided....
Updated: Nov 4, 2020
I can remember the day as if it were just yesterday. As a newlywed, and expectant father, life was just beginning. I had recently started at a local bible college, and was preparing for ministry. Mandy, my beautiful bride, was working at a local doctors office and carrying what we would later learn to be twins. And then the unthinkable happened. Two planes flew into the World Trade Center towers in New York City on September 11, 2001. I walked into school that morning only to find several classmates huddled around a TV. We watched with horror as the second plane flew into the South tower, and gasped as people jumped from burning buildings. There was nothing but silence, as we stared with disbelief at each other. Dr. Kenneth Ridings came bursting into the room where we were and said “Boys, go tell all the professors to direct their students to the chapel.” Once gathered in the chapel he shared what had happened and invited us to all go to our knees in prayer,
and then he told us to go home and tend to our families. In the days after September 11th, we experienced something that I had never quite seen. There was a great sense of unity in our nation. A collective mourning had turned into a great sense of pride to be an American. People waved flags, churches were packed, and normally busy strangers seemed to pause and check on their fellow citizen. That was 19 years ago today. And truth be told, it seems as if it were a lifetime ago.
Fast forward to today. It now seems that we are as divided as we ever have been. Neighbor vs. Neighbor, Family vs. Family, Republican vs. Democrat, and on and on it goes.....
Here is the plain truth, we are and always have been “A Land Divided”. What does this mean? For those of us that follow Christ, we should know that scripture reminds us that this world is at enmity with God. That means that they themselves do not have “unity” or peace with God. In fact, Jesus told us this world is divided. In highlighting how he was in perfect unity with the father and the fathers work, Jesus shared this truth in the gospels "Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand.” And Jesus went about exactly that, completing the work of the cross that might bring peace and unity to the hearts of mankind. And what is the message Jesus would have us proclaim?
The Gospel......the good news of Jesus Christ. Jesus knew the greatest need of humanity was not to be united, but to be reconciled to God. Through his atoning work alone, humanity could be made to be at peace with God, and then to his neighbor. It was and always will be the gospel alone that brings us together as God intended. This doesn’t mean that we don’t fight for what is truly just, care for our fellow man, pursue unity with those we disagree, or be responsible with our civic duties. But what it most certainly does mean is that our banner for unity is the gospel, and not the banner of our nation. I am thankful to be an American,
and today I remember those who died in those horrendous events. And while I am overcome with gratitude to live in this country, I long to be in the one where true unity will rein in eternity.
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 2 Corinthians 5:20