The Shepherd Calls


My Country Is His Country
Beautiful, spacious, waving grain, purple mountains, fruited---Katherine Lee Bates chose those words to describe our country, the United States of America. The words present a true picture. I enjoy being a part of this beautiful land. I say “my Country” with pride.
While I enjoy it, I feel a deep-seated anxiety about my joy. Didn’t we “take” this land from someone else? Isn’t that stealing? We refer politely to those Indigenous people as native Americans. I often wonder how our sinful past might be undone. That would be like unscrambling an egg. Then I wonder, to whom did the land belong before the native Americans? And who before them? By digging into this world, we find clues about our ancestors and make educated guesses; but they are guesses.
Do you ever wonder how far back i.e., how many people groups or generations would we need to pass through before God made humankind from the dust of the earth? At what point of creation would people have the right to say,” My land.” Truthfully, none of us have the right to say, “my land.” All the land belongs to God; He allows us to use it for a little while.
There is rampant heresy visiting our world today called Christian Nationalism. It elevates the world and especially one’s country to the level of worship. No doubt our country can, if it will, do much for its people; but our country is not our God. God gave us a little of His likeness which included dominion over the earth; and it has gone to our head. One might picture Adam and Eve standing before the forbidden tree saying, “This is my garden. What right does God have to tell me what to do with it?”
In a few days, our country will celebrate its 248th anniversary. It is good to celebrate; but when you say, “my country,” remember, it really is not. It is God’s country. I love my country, but I love God more. God first; country second.