"Make America Great Again!"
"We need to get back to our roots as a Christian nation!"
"I miss the good old days!"
Have you heard people say these things? Have you heard them embrace them as mantras and repeat them? Maybe you've said them too. I often wonder what people mean when they say these kinds of things. There is some sort of longing in people's hearts for our country to regain some kind of prominence that they once believed it had. Others desire to see what they consider to be a return to morality and civility.
As I listen to folks and hear their ideas about how to make this a reality it strikes me that most of them are primarily concerned with power and comfort. Maybe I am way off base, maybe I'm not.
For many people in our country the "good old days" are ahead of us. I am particularly thinking about women and ethnic minorities. The reality is that there is greater opportunity now than before and it is getting better. It's weird isn't it, that when other people seem to be gaining we often look at that as our loss? Why is that? It's because we are concerned about power and comfort.
For someone who has never had power or comfort to get it means that one who has them has to share a little. For the good of the community those of us in power have to be OK with giving up a little to our fellow man. Yet, we're really not.
Because at the heart of all this is a spiritual problem. We are selfish, self-centered, arrogant people. The problem in our country is not a politics problem. It's not an economic problem. It's a spiritual problem.
Instead of clamoring to go back, we need to cry out a simple prayer to our God, "Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved! (Psalm 80:3, ESV)"
The restoration here is a spiritual separation from God that the people of God were experiencing. We know the root of the issue was spiritual because the psalmist says, "O LORD God of hosts, how long will you be angry with your people's prayers? (Psalm 80:4, ESV)"
We don't need to go back to the good old days or return to some mythic Christian roots. No, what we need is to have our relationship with God restored. What we need is for revival to come to our land.
Do you want to see this country transformed? Confess your sin. Confess the sin of the Church. Confess the sin of our country. Cry out to God for his mercy and grace. Beg him to "restore us...that we might be saved!"