Tuesday, July 03, 2007

God Bless America?

Many of us will sing this anthem tomorrow as we celebrate the birth of our nation. In light of the study I'm participating on the Beatitudes this summer, I couldn't help ask myself this question: What exactly am I thinking when I ask God to continue blessing America?

  • Allow me to continue living in my comfort zone, oblivious to those around me who are unaware of your blessings?
  • Keep me from getting embroiled in any uncomfortable political controversies?
  • Allow me to continue worshipping as I please, regardless of whether or not my worship pleases you?
  • Keep our nation free from and unaffected by the poverty that plagues much of the world today?
When I read the word "blessing" in the Beatitudes, it's usually accompanied by a not so comfortable idea:
  • being dependent upon God
  • learning to truly mourn and how to comfort those who have lost something or someone dear
  • learning to be content with who we are
  • caring about others
  • being a peacemaker . . . introducing others to the peace that only Christ can offer
So maybe my prayer as I sing God Bless America over the next few days should be a little different. (okay, I'll probably just hum!) How does God really want to bless America? How does God's idea of blessing differ from mine? And perhaps most importantly, how can I be part of the way God truly wants to bless America?