Today's reading: Revelation 18
Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, "Come out of her, my people, so that you do not take part in her sins, so that you do not share in her plagues...." Revelation 18: 4 NRSV
In this part of John's vision, Babylon - really Rome - is the subject. Her fall is great and is lamented by merchants, seafarers and kings. Her iniquities have truly been awful and her punishment is incredibly violent. And in this verse, people who live there are warned to leave so that they too are not tainted and punished.
How tainted are we by living in this country? Do we participate in a sinful way of life without realizing? Is it truly possible to turn this country around and back to God? Do we need to leave in order to avoid punishment? Where would we go?
These are hard questions and I have no easy answers. I do think we all should be careful in our balance of being patriotic and followers of Christ. Christ should always come first. Sometimes that means we will rub up against the American thing to do. At other times, we will be in sync with our country. Following God's will is essential to who we are as Christians and we need give our allegiance to God. If we do so we will avoid taking part in our country's sins.
God, led us and help us to discern your will. May we follow you before any other person, law or nation. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Copyright 2010 Amelia G. Sims