Marilyn Gardner, Jonathan Trotter, and I shared this note on Facebook last week. Since some of our readers receive only the e-mail articles, we thought it would be worth sharing in this format as well. ~Elizabeth
We at A Life Overseas are a community of global Christians. We seek to serve and support the work of God’s people all over the world. We do not belong to any one nation, tribe, or tongue; rather, we belong to the Kingdom of God.
Nationalism and violence will never usher in the Kingdom. As a leadership team, we remember this truth: wherever we are from and wherever God calls us in the world, our hope is not in governments or nation states, but in the wonderful counselor, mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.
For those of you wanting help to process last week’s events at the U.S. Capitol building, here are the words that Jonathan Trotter shared on his personal page:
“When nationalism starts parading as patriotism, you end up with a riot.” (From an article I wrote for A Life Overseas. In July, 2017.)
The roots of nationalism have produced their natural fruit, and will continue to do so. Tragically, those roots have too often found fertile soil in our churches.
That must end.
There is a better way. A much better way.
What follows is also from the aforementioned article, God Bless America! (and other dangerous prayers).
As followers of Christ, our great desire is that he would be made great. We desire that his greatness would be known everywhere, not our country’s. We want the banner of our God to be raised up, that his Love would be seen, and that all those who see it will run to Him and be saved.
As citizens of America, we should celebrate and honor and cherish the United States. She remains a fantastical experiment in human government, bought with blood and sacrifice. (She is far from perfect, of course, and some of her story is violent and abusive and should be labeled as such. But that is an article for another time.)
As citizens of the Kingdom, we should celebrate and cherish and love the global Church, the Bride, wherever she may be found. Her flag is our flag.
And she is not just in America. She’s in Algeria and Russia and Brazil. There are millions in the Kingdom who speak Arabic and Urdu and Mandarin. Our fellow citizens live in the jungles of the Congo and the Amazon.
And everyone who’s not already a part of the Kingdom of God? Well, we want them to know they’re invited!
So may God bless Algeria and Afghanistan and Argentina.
And may God bless America!
We should pray for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.
We should pray for justice to run down like a mighty river. And we should pray for a heart like His that wants no one to perish, not even ISIS soldiers.
Is it unAmerican to talk like this? I hope not, but maybe.
Our first allegiance is not to Rome, or Washington. It certainly must not be to elephants, donkeys, or three-lettered news agencies. This was settled long ago; our first allegiance, our deepest love, is towards the King.
I do hope God blesses America. I pray that He blesses America with peace. I pray that we would learn to love one another, and perhaps even our enemies.
I pray that more and more people would meet Christ, and be changed.
I pray for the religionists like Paul, that they would meet Christ and be forever changed.
I pray for the government contractors like Zacchaeus, that they would meet Christ and be forever changed.
I pray for the militant nationalists like Simon, that they would meet Christ and be forever changed.
I pray for the white collars like Nicodemus and the blue collars like Peter.
I pray for the rich women like Joanna, and the used women who show up at the well at noon.
I pray that they would all meet Christ and be forever changed.
Will you join me?
After this I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands. And they were shouting with a great roar, “Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne and from the Lamb!” (Revelation 7:9-10)