Alexis de Tocqueville, was a French aristocrat, diplomat, political scientist and historian. He is best known for his works on Democracy in America. He came to America in the 1830’s and made this observation,
“I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers – and it was not there . . . in her fertile fields and boundless forests and it was not there . . . in her rich mines and her vast world commerce – and it was not there . . . in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution – and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good and if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.”
The greatness of America rests not in her economy, her Constitution, nor her Democracy, but in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His righteousness being preached from her pulpits. From the foundations of the Pilgrims and Puritans, to the hundreds of thousands of churches that are bringing the Kingdom of God to the earth, this is the greatness of America.
Is America great? We are great only as far as our witness of the goodness of Jesus. Greatness in the Kingdom is built on love, humility, caring, serving and blessing others. Greatness in America is when the Kingdom of God and His righteousness is being proclaimed and demonstrated.
In this time of upheaval, disruption and chaos, let’s BE Jesus to everyone we meet. Let’s bring the goodness of Jesus into our families, our jobs and our lifestyle.
On this Independence Day weekend, let’s not forget that our nation’s greatness is found in Christ and only to the extent we reflect Christ, is our nation great.
May the Fire work within you this Fourth of July!
Steve Holt M.A., D.D.