Showing Honor Where Honor is Due
Some thirty-eight years after declaring independence from King George’s reign, a thirty-five year old lawyer observed the bombardment of Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor by the British Navy. It was the height of the War of 1812.
From miles away, the sights and sounds of destruction were felt by many. And as the “dawn’s early light” pierced the darkness of night, and the smoke which had consumed the fort was swept away, this young lawyer saw the most amazing thing.
I’ll let Francis Scott Key explain the rest in his poetic description of Old Glory.
Oh, say can you see
By the dawn’s early light
What so proudly we hailed
At the twilight’s last gleaming?
Who’s broad striped and bright stars
Through the perilous fight
O’er the ramparts we watched
Were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare!
The bombs bursting in air!
Gave proof through the night
That our flag was still there
Oh, say does that star spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free
And the home of the brave?
Today we celebrate President’s Day. First begun as a celebration of George Washington’s birthday, it has for many years been a day of appreciation for each of the 44 presidents who have served our country (*Benjamin Harrison’s term was between two Grover Cleveland terms).
President’s Day looks very different now. If you’ve been on social media today or seen the news or searched the web for anything at all, you know what President’s Day is all about. It’s a day when the banks and post office are closed and you’ve got to go shopping for a steal of a deal. Sales! Sales! Sales!
For a moment, let us consider the blessings of liberty and justice in America and the courage that it takes to preserve those blessings day-in and day-out.
And let us consider Romans 13, a passage every TeenPacter should know quite well, wherein we learn our God-given responsibility as citizens under a governing authority:
“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.”
We have until April 15th to file taxes, but today let’s be sure to express our honor and respect for the presidents who have served our country. And let us be faithful to obey the Word of God, which calls us to faithfully pray for President Trump and the other leaders of our nation.
1 Timothy 2:1-4
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Which presidents do you admire most and why? (Share your comments below!)