In the sermon at church this morning based on Romans 12:1:
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship.” (NIV)
Dr. John Laida (a guest preacher for Senior Adult Day) told us the story of Ivan of Russia who had been so busy “leading” his country that when he was nearly 35 years old his advisors reminded him he needed to get married. He had three requirements for a bride:
- She had to be beautiful.
- She had to be of royal blood.
- She had to be well-educated.
His advisors got busy and found Princess Sophia of Greece. As soon as Ivan found out about her he took off for Greece with an army and a priest. Ivan and Sophia (or at least Ivan fell in love with Sophia no one said the love was returned this morning) were so in love and when Ivan asked for her hand in marriage the King agreed on one condition – he be converted to the Greek national church (Catholic I believe). Ivan agreed, went through all the requirements including full immersion baptism. His men, seeing their great leader do this followed suit. They came upon though the first problem.
The Greek Catholic church didn’t allow professional soldiers to join their church because of what a soldier’s life entails – fighting, defense, people get killed. Solution: 100 priests met 100 soldiers in the water and as they immersed them in the water, at a command from Ivan, the soldiers drew their swords, holding them high in the air…thus they were fully immersed except for their arm holding the swords. The rest of them they appeared willing to give to Christ, their arm (and sword) they retained for Russia (and Ivan).
Today on Facebook a friend posted that Dr. Pepper is coming out with bottles with the statue of Liberty and the Pledge of Allegiance on them only the pledge is the original written in the late 1800’s without the “under God” added by Congress in 1954. A comment on that post cited this as simply being returning the pledge to its original words.
To me it’s no different from those 100 soldiers trying to give “almost” all of themselves to Christ while keeping something in reserve for themselves. That’s not how it works. We have to give “all” of ourselves, sinners that we are, to Christ. Keeping nothing in reserve, giving Him first place completely in our lives.
I don’t know about you but I am tired of having my rights as an American citizen who is a Believer in the one Living God trodden upon by those who keep crying I’M TAKING THEIR RIGHTS AWAY. If you don’t want to say “under God” that is your right. So just don’t say those words. If you don’t want to have your child pray in school then teach them to respect others desire to do so and keep silent and not to listen. If you don’t want your teenager to pray in a circle around the flag pole once a year then tell them to keep walking and ignore those students who are gathered there.
I don’t know about the rest of you but I’m TIRED of being walked on like a doormat. Let’s do something even if it is as small as not buying Dr. Pepper without the complete Pledge of Allegiance.