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“…From everyone to whom much as been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded.” Luke 12: 48

As our country enters a new era of isolationist policies, I’ve been giving thought to Jesus’ words from Luke 12:48. We, as a country, have been given a lot.  Our natural wonders, from the Grand Canyon to the Rocky Mountains to the Hawaiian Islands, are some of the most beautiful on earth.  We have an interesting citizenry.  We aren’t a boring, homogenous group of folks, with the same skin tone, hair color and language.  Instead, we are a diverse land of immigrants, with varied experiences, appearances and points of view.  And we have had the wisdom to allow each other to live freely.  So, we are free to practice our respective religions, speak publicly about the things matter to us, and love and marry whoever we choose.  There is no other country who is as blessed as we are.

But we’ve been blessed for a reason: To help humanity. We are responsible to help those who are persecuted.  We are responsible to help those who are abused.  We are responsible to help the poor, the homeless and the scared.  God did not bless us to hoard our blessings like small children hoard toys.

By not opening our doors to refugees, we miss the point. We’ve been given so much, so that we in turn have the ability to help others.  If we don’t do that, we’ve failed to meet our God-given responsibility.

This concept holds true for us as a nation, and for us as individuals. If God has entrusted you with more than you need, it is because He is expecting you to use your wealth, power or influence to help others.  If God has endowed you with intellect or a certain talent, He similarly is expecting you to use those gifts to be a benefit to others.  In short, with God’s blessings come responsibilities.

This week, you might take some time to consider how we, as Americans, have been blessed. And you might consider how you, individually, have been blessed.  Then ask yourself, “Would God consider Americans to be good stewards of the gifts that we have been given?  Are we using our gifts to care for the poor and vulnerable?  Are we making the world a more just and peaceful place?”  Ask yourself, “Would God consider me to be a good steward of the gifts that I have been given?  Am I using my resources and talents to bless others?”  These are tough questions.  We tend to want to limit our personal obligations to our families.  As a country, we tend to want to take care of only those who are bona fide U.S. citizens.  But because God has blessed us so abundantly, He calls us to do more.  He calls us to serve the world.

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