Elections are characterized by catchy slogans and President Trump’s theme of “Make America Great Again” became a marketing phenomenon. Repetition of this motto over the long election cycle has caused me to reflect on what makes America great. America’s greatness is truly as diverse as the people of our already-great nation.
Today I want to focus on a particular group that contributes to America’s greatness. I believe greatness in our country is planted, sustained and increased by the men and women who stand in our pulpits and lovingly proclaim the Scriptures. Pastors are called to speak truth, mercy, forgiveness, salvation and the love of Jesus Christ in every community across our land while living to validate what they proclaim. Pastors who model Jesus’ words teach the best definition of greatness.
Greatness and the desire for it are nothing new. In the first century, people asked Jesus to define greatness. They asked him which is the greatest commandment, who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven and they provoked his rebuke of a self-centered lifestyle when he defined greatness by humility and service to others. Jesus’ taught that when we extend His love, we demonstrate greatness.
Every Sunday pastors remind us to love God and love our neighbor as taught by Jesus. These commands are the embodiment of greatness. It is convenient to reduce instruction to the lowest common denominator, and people asked, “Jesus, define neighbor for us!” Jesus' response was that we identify those in need and help them. Jesus skillfully used the illustration of the merciful Samaritan’s actions to portray greatness.
Ultimately, the words proclaimed by the Messiah will lead us to humility, service, and greatness. The scriptures are taught by thousands of spiritual leaders throughout our houses of worship each week. Pastors speak this truth, but their best work is when they live out these words by serving their community. Every marriage that survives due to a minister's godly counsel, every grieving family comforted by his care, every poor, hungry or sick person taken in by his church, every life affected through his or her devotion to teaching, every humble act of service and support models greatness in our communities.
Let us pray for our new President.
Let us never neglect to pray for our pastors. Let’s urge them on and encourage them to fulfill their calling faithfully.
Our pastors’ teaching and examples can lead, strengthen, inspire and bless every community in America and that makes America greater!
Remember your leaders, who spoke God's message to you; reflect on the outcome of their lives and imitate their faith. Hebrews 13.7