Have we traded the Kingdom in order to "Make America great again"?
Wrapping up the book of Revelations I reflect that empires are temporary. Babylon, Greece, Rome, Britain every empire has its heyday and its decline. Empires are like shooting stars bright and fleeting. Empires rise and fall, making them an unstable foundation on which to build our lives.
As a Christian, what should our relationship be with America? I imagine where the lines blur of faith and nationalism, a confusion about whether a value is Christian if it aligns with American dogma.
Christians in America have a reputation for being passionate about "traditional family values" and cherry picking issues. Yet, if we are are so keen on preserving families what about families separated by deportation? Are they not worthy of preserving? I'm leery of American Christianity that is a thinly veiled form of nationalism and xenophobia.
Jesus lived his life on earth among tax collectors, prostitutes, fisherman and when he summed up our mandate he said it is to love our neighbor as ourselves. Martin Luther King Jr, expounding on the story of the Good Samaritan asked "Who is my neighbor? I do not know his name, says Jesus in essence. He is anyone toward whom you are neighborly. He is anyone who lies in need at life's roadside. He is neither Jew nor Gentile; he is neither Russian nor American; he is neither Negro nor white. He is 'a certain man' any needy man on one of the numerous Jericho roads of life." So Jesus defines a neighbor, not in a theological definition, but in a life situation."
In 1968 if you would have asked the question, who is my neighbor? Would you consider your neighbor outside of your segregated neighborhood, or your neighbor in Vietnam whom the United States was at war with at that time. In 2017, I would say my neighbor is my coworker who identifies as LGBT, my neighbor is the child being bombed in Syria. My neighbors are the families terrified to drop off their kids at school because they may get swept up and deported. My mandate is to love indiscriminately, regardless as to whether it makes America great or not.
I believe that faith should trump nationalism. Empires are temporary but love is eternal.
2,000+ years later we are still talking about Jesus and his love that made him a criminal and an enemy of the state to be crucified. At the end of revelations, there is a description of a new heaven and a new earth, along with it a glittering city where there are people from every nation and tribe unified in love.
It reminds me that evil does not win, love wins.