12th November 2017

Nurture Strengths and Strengthen Weaknesses 

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
2 Corinthians 3:17 (NIV UK)
 

I enjoy living in America, especially because of the freedom we have in residing here. If you’ve ever been to my office you’ve probably noticed that I have there a life-size cut out of John Wayne, the Duke. I’m a big fan of John Wayne. He’s an iron-jawed icon of American manhood. He was someone who transcended his time to become a legend and a symbol of freedom. He wasn’t perfect; he was the rugged individualist who rarely apologised because it might be interpreted as a sign of weakness. But to most of the world, John Wayne was the embodiment of America. By the time the 1970s rolled around, Duke felt that the nation around him was changing. Many of the things that he thought made America great were being forgotten. So he went into the studio and recorded a record album.

It’s got a simple title: “America: why I love her.” When we listen to it now it can come over as a bit sentimental. But it’s fun to hear the Duke calling it as he sees it. Here’s a line from the album’s sleeve: “I know most of you feel the same as I do about our country. Now and then we gripe about some of her imperfections, but sometimes that’s good. Especially if it gets us working together to make things better. It seems to me we often take too much for granted, and have a tendency to forget ‘The good things about America.’ My hope and prayer is that everyone will know and love our country for what she really is and what she stands for. May we nurture her strengths and strengthen her weaknesses so that she will be the ‘Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave.’”

The 11th of November is another day which in the UK celebrates freedom and independence. It looks back on the sacrifices made during World War II and hopes that we remember these so we do not need to fight such a war again. I know it can feel as if there are still many differences which separate us today. But there is still a lot of good left to give, especially as we follow the lead of Jesus in our lives. And that’s what John Wayne was writing about. I hope you’ll remember Duke’s words: “May we nurture her strengths and strengthen her weaknesses so that she will be the ‘Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave’” for every people and nation.

Prayer
Father of all, we are thankful for our freedom and remember the sacrifices of people which made this possible. We especially remember the sacrifice of your son and our Saviour, Jesus, in whose name we pray.
Amen
 

Study by Joseph Tkach

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About the Author:
Joseph Tkach is the President of Grace Communion International (the Denominational name of The Worldwide Church of God UK), and resides in California, USA.

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