Why Would God Bless America? Part 1

It’s easy to see why God wouldn’t bless America.
But why would He give us an American dawn?

Hopefully, without going too political on you, in the next few posts, I’d like to explore why God might bless America, in particular the Church in America…through the coronavirus pandemic.

God sees purification as a good thing.

The Church in America has been forced away from familiar liturgies and pageantry on two of our most holy Church calendar days. It’s like that scene from How The Grinch Stole Christmas where the Whos in Whoville still gathered without all the trappings of Christmas. The Grinch, you may remember, recited that outpouring from his “puzzler”…

“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”

Maybe Palm Sunday is more than a familiar church pageant with Sunday school kids, dressed in their second-finest, waving palm branches, the church choir which has practiced for weeks, or the hired gun singer to sing some hymn that has become part of the Palm Sunday Triumphal Entry routine to put a bow on the photo-op Palm Sunday tradition.

Maybe Easter, too, is more than the trumpeters, Easter egg rolls for the kids, Sunday best and Easter bonnets. Maybe it’s more than the high-pressure stakes upon pastors to cash in on the Christmas and Easter (C&E) crowd. Dump that Gospel dump truck on’em! This is one of only two chances you’ll get this year! Make the most of it! Do your best sermon ever! The pressure’s on! Inspire the crowd to want to come to church to be part of the club through small groups or dinners or Alpha, even. And if there’s an extra bit of pocket change in the offering plate, even better! Maybe that’s part of the not-so-secret motivation for having a really big show to get churchgoers to invite their friends, neighbors, family … (ouch!) … as if Jesus isn’t enough all on His own.

Through the coronavirus, God took it all away.

It came without family, neighbors, and friends. It came without fancy designer trends. It came without handshakes, greetings, and touch. It came without traditions, felt empty as such. The pageant, O’ Christian, was all stripped away. What was left at the end of the day?

The Word of God, the Gospel alone… was shared online …to each in his home. It was stripped of peer pressure resulting in dollars. It was set free from Mammon and all of its followers.

Perhaps a few pastors were exposed for their fears and the truth of their worship and what they hold dear. The business of church, had it polluted their hearts? Had they lost their first love and the joy He imparts?

Had their C&E focus meant pew goals to meet, but no more to their church than Black Friday’s receipts? To the stale and the dry, the rehashed and the dead, God allowed a virus for revival instead.


But everyone who was there…was there for the right reasons… because they wanted to be the people of God, worshiping Jesus at His triumphal entry and all week through His crucifixion and His resurrection. They wanted and needed Him to create dry land in our sea of troubles, a way through because they’d heard somewhere at some time, that He is the Way!

And God purified His Church.

But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.

 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.  Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.

Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.  For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.

 For, “All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall,  but the word of the Lord endures forever.” And this is the word that was preached to you. (1 Peter 1:15-25)

Questions for thought:

  1. How have you worshiped when there were no others to see you but the screen of a laptop or the pages of your Bible?
  2. In what ways have you been challenged to obey the truth, to have a sincere love for others, and to be the Body of Christ on a mission to share Him with others?
  3. Enjoy this video of Matt Redman’s Heart of Worship. Let it speak to your heart and purify your worship of Jesus Christ.
  4. How might this time of purification in your worship act as a fast as devotion to Christ?
  5. How might it be preparing the world’s “heart soil” for revival?

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on April 19, 2020

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