13th June 2012

Great Britain?

“Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.”
Proverbs 14:34 (NIV)

Britain 2012 is enjoying a year of unique celebration – it has been 115 years since the country last celebrated the 60 year Diamond Jubilee anniversary of a monarch.  It is right that we show respect and gratitude for our Queen who has shown dedication and service to this nation during the highs and lows of 60 years.

This country has hosted the Olympics only twice before in 1908 and 1948.  To be selected as the host nation is a great honour. Thus we have the atmosphere of festive patriotism in 2012.  As a nation we have much to celebrate and be proud of – but are we truly ‘Great’?  The term ‘Great’ stems from the Acts of Union in 1707 during the reign of Queen Anne. . The Acts joined the Kingdom of England and the Kiingdom of Scotland. 

We sing fervently at the top of our lungs ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ – but is it so?  Anyone who saw the riots in our cities during 2011 where neighbours destroyed the property and livelihoods of fellow neighbours might pause to reflect before answering. 

What actually makes a nation great?   Some might say, a strong stable economy, others an education system that is second to none, and others a state of the art health system.  There will be many definitions of what makes a nation great, but God says that righteousness exalts a nation, or makes it great as we see in the heading scripture.  Note that it is righteousness, not nationalism, that exalts a nation.  Righteousness exalts others above self – nationalism exalts self above others.  The latter often leading to division and bloodshed – not greatness.  When reported in the press and television most people are bewildered by wanton acts of vandalism and violence in this country and across the world.  How often do you hear people say ‘it’s a disgrace!”  God totally agrees with them!  Sin is a disgrace and we all have a part in it as we read in Romans 3:23, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”   

We have much to be proud of in this country – there are many citizens striving to make a difference – they are to be commended, however we all need to make a difference1 Corinthians 1:30 (International Standard Version) tells us, “It is because of God that you are in union with the Messiah Jesus, who for us has become wisdom from God, as well as our righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.”  The name ‘Great’ in Britain was born of a union of nations, as that union of nations we urgently need a union with God. 

As we wave our flags and wear our patriotic red, white and blue this summer, let us do more than just sing of hope and glory.  Let us return to the source of all righteousness.  God asks us in Zechariah 1:3 to return to Him, and in doing so this nation can become truly Great.  Only then can we fill this wonderful country with the certain ‘hope and glory’ of its Creator!

Loving Father, we thank you for this beautiful country and ask that you help us turn to you collectively as a nation – you are our source of righteousness forever.  Help us to realise this and therefore give you glory as you give us hope.

Study by Irene Wilson

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