In God We Trust?
BIBLE VERSES FOR THOUGHT
You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
Deuteronomy 11: 19, ESV
Remember the days of old; consider the years of many generations; ask your father, and he will show you, your elders, and they will tell you.
Deuteronomy 32: 7, ESV
And all that generation also were gathered to their fathers. And there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord or the work that he had done for Israel.
Judges 2: 10, ESV
The period of the Judges was a time of uncertainty and spiritual malaise for God's chosen people. After the outstanding leadership of Moses and Joshua they entered the promised land but failed to fulfill what God had commanded them. One, they didn't drive out the inhabitants of the land. And, two, they failed to teach their children God's law and the miraculous works of God during their forty years in the wilderness. The generation that followed them didn't know about the Red Sea, the manna in the dessert, the quail that God provided for food, or the rubrics of God's law. The new generations were ignorant of the mighty works of God that had brought them to the land God had promised their forefather Abraham.
Our father, Chester H. Holmes, Jr., affectionately known as The Chester in our family, was a very patriotic citizen. He grew up on the mill villages of Walhalla, South Carolina, and entered the United States Navy upon high school graduation. He served in the closing months of WWII aboard BB 64, The USS Wisconsin, an Iowa-class battleship. He and mother met while students at North Greenville College and I was born in his senior year at Furman University. He taught Mike, Christie, and I us to salute the United States flag, stand then the National Anthem was played, cover our heart when reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, and observe the national days of remembrance that had guided our nation from it's beginning. I remember on occasional Friday nights when we would be permitted to stay up late for a TV movie. All of the television stations in Greenville, SC, signed off at midnight in those days. The stations displayed a waving flag and sounded the National Anthem. He compelled us to stand and and place our hands over our hearts. It was, in his opinion, our duty as citizens.
We were taught to honor America on Independence Day, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and other notable occasions of national significance so we would never forget the guidance of God in our national epoch or the people and signal events that brought us forward since 1776. . Observing and celebrating them today always raises a lump in my throat and deepest gratitude in my heart. To be a citizen of this great country with the freedoms of expression, worship, fair trial by jury, voting in elections, and the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness are among the blessings of being an American.
The Judges 2: 10 passage printed above was followed by a phrase that was repeated often in the Book of Judges---"And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord..." (Judges 2:11, ESV). It was the earmark of Israel when they did not teach the law, their history, or important national events to their children. It is why we should be people of the national days, the reminder that we are one nation under God, the nation distinguished by an official motto adopted by Congress in 1956: In God We Trust.
No, America is not perfect. Neither are our elected officials and leaders. We can certainly protest our grievances and register our opposition to policies we find offensive. So, write your Congressmen or Senators. Call your Mayor's office, or the Governor. But, please stand for the National Anthem and give tribute to our flag. Celebrate our remembrance days joyfully in 2020.
We are indeed blessed to be citizens of the United States of America. And, yes, for me it is In God We Trust, without the question mark.