For 240 years we have experienced this experiment of freedom known as America.
Many people have believed and continue to believe that it has been God who has blessed this nation. I am one of those.
God’s blessings upon this country have been abundant. Does this mean we are a perfect country? By no means! As humans, everything we do will always be imperfect, including the countries we lead. But, as a Christian, I believe in God’s abundant grace. Grace is the unmerited favor of God. And God’s grace has been upon this country.
I’ve been thinking about our National Anthem, The Star Spangled Banner. The anthem was originally written as a poem by Francis Scott Key, called Defence of Fort McHenry. It was later put to music using The Anacreon in Heaven, written by John Stafford Smith.
That original poem you Key has four verses. The fourth verse says,
O, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand,
Between their lov’d homes and the war’s desolation;
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the heav’n-rescued land
Praise the Pow’r that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
Key wrote the poem in 1814, during the War of 1812. He believed that it was God’s providence that made, preserved, and rescued our nation. His words In God is our trust define how we are called to live as free people and as a country as well.
When we choose to put our hope and trust in God, we are available to experience his blessings and favor upon our lives. May that fourth verse of Key’s poem be a description of our country for 240 years to come!