The ceremony was about to begin. The groom had more than the normal weddings jitters. He was a Chinese national with a name that only his mother could pronounce. He graciously took on the name Frank for us tongue tied Americans.
He and his lovely Texas bred fiancé met in China while they were advancing the cause of Christ among the Chinese. He moved to Texas in preparation for their life together.
I was asked to unite them in marriage. Premarital counseling had been interesting. I had to explain the concepts of Christian marriage and sometimes even define the words for Frank. He was learning how to live with his wife and her culture in an understanding way.
So, there we stood, just he and I ready to make our entrance. Every seat was filled, and his family would be watching from an ocean away via the net. And as they say in Texas, he was as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a roomful of rockers.
So, I thought I might have some fun with him I asked Frank if he had his song ready. He gave me a dirty look and asked, “Song – what song?” I said, “You know – the wedding song.” He growled the words, “What wedding song?” I said, “Frank, I thought you knew about the American custom where the groom sings to his bride during the ceremony.”
The two of us ended up on the floor! He nearly fainted and I laughed myself silly.
Frank was an alien – a man who was not a citizen of the country in which he was living. Though I was born in the US, I too am feeling increasingly like an alien.
The history that has defined our nation is being erased. Many of the values that forged our character now seem to be upended and the goodness that was once almost synonymous with America is evaporating.
But I will survive, because I too am, in fact, an alien. My passport comes from another place.
The apostle Paul put it this way, “But our citizenship is in heaven—and we also eagerly await a savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.” – Philippians 3:20
Those who belong to Christ are citizens of heaven and aliens on the earth. We have a different culture, hold to unique values, cherish different aspirations and ultimately answer to a higher authority. We are ruled by a King who is all together truthful, wise, compassionate and just.
Those who govern on earth often do so to feather their own bed. But Jesus, who had no place to even lay His head, got on His knees and washed the soiled feet of his disciples and not just those of his loyal constituency – Judas got a foot washing too.
Down here the agenda of the left, dukes it out with the agenda of the right. In Christ’s Kingdom truth is the only agenda.
Here money and airtime tend to determine an election, whereas it was Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross earned Him the right to rule.
And fear not, for Paul says that our King is coming back to expand His Kingdom to this earth – so that one day His values sweep the world and His benevolent rule will be universal.
But how do we manage in the meantime?
- Don’t throw in the towel yet. God turned around the blood thirsty and vicious nation of Assyria. From the king down, they repented and cried out to God. He can surely do it again.
- In the meantime – expect people here to think and act differently. Our values do not fit anymore. Be ready to pay the price for being different.
- Don’t be surprised if things continue to decline. Paul wrote about the days that would precede Christ’s second coming. “But understand this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2 For people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, savage, opposed to what is good, 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, loving pleasure rather than loving God.” 2 Timothy 3:2-4.
- Do as Paul encouraged us to do, “eagerly” await the return of the Lord Jesus.
It will be a great day when we are finally united with our King. Who knows Frank may even sing Him a song!
A PRAYER: Lord help me to stand upon You the rock, as the soil beneath us crumbles and – PS: Come Quickly Lord Jesus.
All references from the NET Bible ®