Today’s Americans are not the first to cry out for change, or to welcome
a radical shift in focus. Discontentment is at our core, currently
woven into the very fabric of who we are as a nation, and echoing the
sentiments that first brought pilgrims to these shores. Our
disenchantment with the abuse of power, and our restlessness with
cultural decadence are simply symptoms of national discontent—a desire
for something more; a longing for higher standards and true meaning.
This is nothing new. We have been down this road before.
Take America’s celebration of Christmas, one of our nation’s more
surprising examples of cultural change. A few hundred years ago, the
Puritans were so disturbed by materialistic practices influencing the
Christmas traditions of their time—the blatant celebration of excess,
the distortion of biblical truth—that they demanded reform. They
expressed their discontentment with the course of their culture and
chose to steer their communities on a different path, even outlawing the
celebration in Boston to help restore godly conduct and perspective.
The change took place gradually, and it wasn’t until 1870 that Christmas
became a federal holiday—a turning point that marked a long journey
toward family-oriented traditions and a heightened reverence for Christ
and His birth.
Only 140 years later, we are drifting in our focus once again. Cultural
and political distortions overwhelm us on all sides. As we consider how
to intercede for our nation today, with all of its potential for change
and transformation, our prayer must be that any renewed discontentment
would drive us to embrace an attitude of reverence for God. Without this
as our foundation, real change will never come. Regardless of who was
just elected or which party is in control, we must intercede that an
attitude of reverence and humility would affect everything from personal
behavior to federal law.
May the Church fall upon her knees and cry out to God for mercy, that we
would be known as a country with restored reverence for Christ, who is
both our Cause and our Celebration. What a true gift of change this
“The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility” (Proverbs 15:33).