60 Seconds - Patriotism

The late American humorist and writer, Lewis Grizzard (1946 – 1994), told the following story: "My late father was one of the handful of Americans who could sing ‘The Star Spangled Banner' without bruising the ears of those around him. A long time ago, I went to a baseball game with him when they played the national anthem. He stood, placed his hand over his heart, and sang a spirited rendition that rose above the relative quiet of the rest of the crowd. When he sat down, I said, ‘Daddy, it embarrasses me when you sing the national anthem that loud.' ‘Son,' he replied, ‘it embarrasses me when you don't.'"
Jeremiah expressed his deep love for his people and country when he wailed, "Oh, that my head were waters, and my eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!" (Jeremiah 9:1). Krummacher said, "If we would know what true love of one's fatherland is, let us ask the prophet. It is truly touching to see with what tenderness the prophets enfold in their hearts their country and people, even when they see in them little but spiritual death, decay, and corruption, and experience from their fellow-countrymen little but bitterness, hate, and persecution."
Two writers of the Gospels recorded how Christ expressed deep concern and anguish of heart over the condition of His homeland, declaring, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem" (Matthew 23:37 and Luke 13:34). J. B. Priestly, on loving one's country, said, "We should behave toward our country as women behave toward the men they love. A loving wife will do anything for her husband except to stop criticizing and trying to improve him. That is the right attitude for a citizen. We should cast the same affectionate but sharp glance at our country. We should love it, but also insist on telling it all its faults."
In the summer of 1939, knowing that war was coming, Dietrich Bonhoeffer returned home from what was to have been a three year stay in the U.S. He wrote an explanation to Reinhold Niebuhr: "I have made a mistake in coming to America. I must live through this difficult period of our national history with the Christian people of Germany. I will have no right to participate in the reconstruction of Christian life in Germany after the war if I do not share the trials of this time with my people. Christians in Germany will face the terrible alternative of either willing the defeat of their nation in order that Christian civilization may survive, or willing the victory of their nation and thereby destroying our civilization. I know which of these alternatives I must choose, but I cannot make that choice in security."
"Whatever makes men good Christians makes them good citizens" (Daniel Webster).
Dave Arnold, Pastor
Gulf Coast Worship Center
New Port Richey , Florida  34654