Thursday, May 10, 2012

      America the Exceptional – the City on a Hill
                                          by Jim Rapp 

What if America really were chosen by God above other nations?
What if we were, today, what Israel once thought itself to be?
What if our founders were intent on building a nation
whose laws mirrored those of Jesus’ “kingdom of heaven”?

Then, should we not, as a nation, be poor in spirit?
Wouldn’t our leaders mourn for the ills of the world;
           mourn for our own sinfulness?
Shouldn’t our people be hungering and thirsting for righteousness?
Wouldn’t we be peacemakers, pure in heart, meek in spirit?
Wouldn’t the policy of our nation be to lend to those who ask;
           bless those who curse us;
           turn the other cheek; go the second mile;
           open our hearts to the naked and hungry;
           care about those in prison; bind the wounds of the sick?

Or would we, like Israel of old, grind the face of the poor,
           empower the rich, impoverish the powerless,
           applaud unrighteousness,
           turn our faces from the sick and dying,
           imprison our prophets, crucify those who come
                      in the name of the Lord?

Wouldn’t a truly exceptional America be the salt of the earth,
           the light of the world, a city set upon a hill?

Wouldn’t America be a much sought haven for the “huddled masses,
yearning to be free?”
As a matter of policy, shouldn’t it welcome the “wretched refuse”
of the world’s “teeming shores”; the “homeless”
and the “tempest-tossed”?

 Why does America, the Exceptional, God’s new Israel,
           turn its back on the stranger at its door,
           despise those whom Jesus chose to serve,
           applaud the success of oppressors,
           elevate the arrogant, enable the wealthy,
           excuse iniquity, celebrate celebrity,
and denigrate – throw crumbs to – the poor?

Americans, stand on the rooftops. Cry out to your God.
Tell Him how exceptionally good we are;
           how we thank Him we are not as other nations.
Give God one good reason that He should “bless America.”

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