Editorial: The Parable of a Prodigal Nation

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“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him, and kissed him.” 

Luke 15:20 NIV 

            A wonderful Father was there at her birth. He watched as people arrived at her shores filled will hopes and dreams of freedom. Many wanted to call her the New Israel, the New Jerusalem, The Promise land, but America was the name by which she came to be known. 

             Her people were unsure how to form a new government in this new land. Seeking the Father’s help, He guided them.  

            Her people faced overwhelming odds as they sought their freedom from one of the world’s greatest powers. The Father was there in Philadelphia in the summer of 1776 as 56 men laid out the hopes and dreams for America. He watched over them as they endured the hardships during the winter of 1777 at Valley Forge and later during the long hard fight for freedom.  

            Later, He was with the delegates in 1787 in Philadelphia as they outlined the framework of her government that would be known as her Constitution. He was there in the chapel of St. Paul’s Church in New York City when her first president, George Washington, after his inauguration in 1789, dedicated America and sought God’s blessings and protection for her. 

            Growing up, she was given great privileges by her Father and blessed. However, she always knew that with her great privileges came responsibility and accountability. She was to be a beacon of light to others. While not perfect, she strove to uphold the standards of her Father on which her Constitution was based. Each day, He listened as millions of people prayed in her schools and government buildings for guidance in making decisions and protection. Authority was honored in her schools, churches and families. Life was precious and people lived and worked together, respecting each other and their differences. People were proud of their country and the principles on which she stood.  

            One day this beautiful nation became restless. She was tired of accountability and responsibility to The Father. She wanted her freedom. Therefore, The Father, with great sadness let her go.  

            Her intellectuals argued that people were good; that morality could be achieved apart from The Father. She enjoyed her independence and pushed The Father further and further out of her life.    

            However, as she was enjoying her new freedom, she was unaware that she was slowly beginning to change. Because there was no accountability, her people did as they pleased. She no longer had a moral compass–nothing was completely right or wrong anymore. Her morals and then her laws changed. Authority was challenged, innocent life was unprotected, children rebelled against their parents and greed and selfishness prevailed. 

            Finally, one day, her people awoke as if from a deep sleep and found that the beautiful nation was fractured. They hardly recognized her anymore. Because of all the years of greed and selfishness, her economy was in trouble and no one had a solution. People have tried to solve her problems on their own without guidance from The Father, but nothing has worked.  

Meanwhile, The Faithful Father patiently waits with arms opened wide for her return. 

            “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven and forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV) 

Postscript 

            The church where Washington dedicated America, St Paul’s Chapel in New York City, still stands today. On the wall above George Washington’s pew is a painting of the Great Seal of America. Miraculously, during the 911 attack, a sycamore tree in the courtyard prevented the debris of the Twin Towers from destroying the church.  

            During the Constitutional Convention of 1787, there were many debates and at one point, 81-year-old Benjamin Franklin suggested that they open the sessions with prayer. 

“The longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth; that God governs in the affairs of men. That if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice; is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?” 

Benjamin Franklin