For July 4th, a (set of) thought(s)
part of his thoughts:
As for me and my house, though I’m opposed to war for Jesus’ followers, we want to celebrate justice and we want to honor those who take up the causes of justice in this world, and we want to give thanks to God in the midst of this awful mess of how to achieve justice in this world for the justices that are gained and for the injustices that are undone.
Frankly, I can’t think of a better place to celebrate with thanksgiving before God for freedom and justice than in a church, in a place that focuses our attention on God, and in a place where a cross puts before us the price to be paid for those who want that final and full justice.
The last part is the best:
As he made clear to Pilate, Jesus came to establish a kingdom that is “not from this world.” The kingdom Jesus came to establish is not a “new and improved” version of the systems of the world. It’s something altogether different. For example, while all versions of the kingdoms of the world resort to violence against enemies when they deem it necessary, citizens of Jesus’ kingdom are called to imitate him by sacrificing themselves out of love for their enemies.
As noble as America’s ideals are, followers of Jesus must never buy into Adam’s delusion — repeated throughout history and still widespread today — that political ideals are a formula for the Kingdom of God. For the Kingdom is not about enjoying “life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness.” It’s about looking like Jesus, dying out of love for the very people who crucified him.