Over the past few days I have heard several "Americans" on radio talk shows talk about how disgusted they are with the sudden awakening some people have experienced in the light of this week's events. Many people are darkening the doors of church buildings for the first time in years, some for the first time ever. Others are standing in line at Wal-Mart or climbing into attic crawlspaces to secure flags to hang from long-neglected flagpoles.
Disgruntled Americans cry out, "Where have these people been all along? Why does it take a tragedy to awaken their spirit and patriotism?" These disgruntled Americans are quick to point out that they've been "faithful" during good and bad times and don't need tragedy to awaken their faith. Their flags are weathered and beaten from the many days of sun and wind outside their homes. In their minds they are the "true" Christians, the "true" Americans.
I am reminded of the story of the prodigal son in Luke chapter 15. The younger son takes his inheritance, leaves his family, and wastes all of his money on prostitutes and wild living. For the younger son it took being lowered to a job of feeding pigs and starving to the point that he wanted to eat their slop before he realized how wrong he had been. He made the arduous journey home and begged for forgiveness. His father immediately forgave him and held an extravagant celebration because of his return. The younger son's older brother was anything but forgiving. He was downright angry. How could his father be so happy after the way his son had acted?
Too many Americans are acting like the older brother. Let us rejoice like never before at the awakening that is happening across this great land. Let us follow the example of the father who acted as the Father would.
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