Turn to faith in times of crisis; God does not abandon
This weekend we celebrate independence. We celebrate our country’s own separation from Great Britain. We celebrate our history, our heritage, our culture and our people. And in the midst of that celebration, we honor the individuals who have fought, and continue to do so, to keep our country united and free.
This particular July 4, however, casts an eerie shadow on the recent results of the United Kingdom’s European Union Referendum, as the British people voted to leave the EU. As Britain struggles to redefine itself and its place in the world, we can recall our own history, our own struggle for independence and the establishment of democracy.
For Britain, everything is in flux as its leaders attempt to understand the will of its people and the impact of the decision. As Prime Minister David Cameron said in his exit speech, “The will of the British people is an instruction that must be delivered.”
As I’ve watched the news and listened to both sides of the argument, one thing became quite clear: the vote was not simply a question of staying or leaving; it brought into question Britain’s very identity.
This is the same question that America also will be facing in November as we vote on our next president. Our choice will dictate the directions that we hope our country will follow, and those directions – given the state of the primary elections – seem disparate.
In fact, the turmoil in Britain combined with the anxieties that have surfaced during the presidential candidates’ campaigns suggest a crisis of political identity that stretches across Western civilization.
And what do we do in times of crisis? We search for guidance.
As Americans and Brits search within themselves to answer the question of national identity, we must also be looking for help from above.
In times of crisis, we come to the church. We seek guidance and peace from our faith, trusting that God will not abandon us and will continue to protect us. As the outcome of the British vote continues to play out, and as our presidential candidates continue their fight for the White House in November, we must look beyond ourselves and discern a way forward that defines us not only as an independent country, but a faithful country.
When we look back on our history, we realize that we are remembered by our actions and our works. When we recall our fight for independence, history immortalizes George Washington’s valiant charge against the redcoats; Paul Revere’s midnight ride and lanterns; Thomas Jefferson drafting the Declaration of Independence. We are immortalized by what we have done, so why not live out our faith in the choices we make and actions we complete?
As we honor our own independence and discern our own votes for the upcoming election, we should look to the church for guidance and remember that Jesus modeled the path to salvation by his faith and his actions.