What Divides the United States
Let’s face it; our nation is fractured. We are divided by politics, gender, race, region, and age. You can see this vividly in Washington DC today while watching your favorite cable news channel – another facet which divides us. Is this a new thing? No, it is not.
This divide started in America after we won our independence, and polarizing political parties emerged. Alexander Hamilton’s Federalists and Thomas Jefferson’s Republicans were at odds in the first Presidential Cabinet. And from there we have seen tumultuous events explode with a bloody civil war, civil rights, and the Vietnam protests of the 1960s to name a few. Today, we are witnessing a culture war with what many are calling anarchy. But is this the real reason for our division?
Perhaps before we can truly find unity in this country, we must find a place where we can understand one another. Politics has proven to be more interested in power and self-interest to the point I struggle to watch the news. It’s difficult to witness what politicians and the talking heads of news organizations say without getting angry and taking sides.
The side we choose is usually determined by how we are wired; our upbringing, our finances, our race, and our age play a huge role in how and what we think. Rarely do we seek common ground with the groups we disagree with, those who live in different circumstances with different challenges.
A Biblical Lesson
The faithful prophet Ezekiel did not see eye-to-eye with the rebellious Hebrews who lived in Tel Aviv (Ezekiel 3). He was sent by God to preach a message they probably would not accept. He went angry, ready to speak fire and condemnation. You see, he was right, and they were wrong! He had a message given to him by Jehovah Himself, and by God, they were going to hear it and change!
But when Ezekiel got there something came over him. He saw the people in their distress, and he said nothing. Instead, he sat among them.
Ezekiel 3:15 15I came to the exiles who lived at Tel Aviv near the Kebar River. And there, where they were living, I sat among them for seven days-deeply distressed.
It’s Not Political
The problems we have in this country are not political, but rather an unwillingness to become familiar with the despair which lives around us. Perhaps if we chose to look for our neighbors who suffer with God’s love, we might find common ground.
You see, when we sit back in our circumstances, the only thing we care about is ourselves and those who agree with us. But if we are willing to get out of our comfort zone and place ourselves near those who need help, and sit among them; like Ezekiel, we may find compassion we didn’t realize we have.
Jesus Did It
Think of Jesus for your example. Here was God, living in His perfect, glorious home of Heaven. But instead of kicking back and enjoying His celestial environment, he left His sinless home and came to our sinful world. He sat among us!
He did not come out preaching or teaching but rather was born in a barn and laid in a trough. He grew up dealing with our troubles and dilemmas, and he dealt with the same problems and temptations we all face and more.
He lived a life for others. He served us with humility and compassion. He served us with the love of God. He was rewarded with rejection, slander, scourging and a cross. And He did it willingly so we could be rescued and saved.
And once he suffered next to us, he enacted change. He became the cornerstone of a movement which has the most positive possibilities this world has ever seen. and these possibilities rest with us – His Church!
As a Christian, I have a unique opportunity to make a difference in this world. Not by my intellect or financial situation (both are extremely limited). But rather by finding those in my community who sit in circumstances worse than my own.
Think about that! If all of us, regardless of race, color or creed look toward those who are less fortunate than ourselves and find ways to help them, would this not unite us and make us stronger.
Government can’t do it – but we can; at least with those who we’re willing to find in distress and sit among them. Those we are willing to struggle with and the issues and dilemmas they face. Those we are willing to rescue and save. It’s the sacrifice of Christ which saved us – and can save others through us and with Him.