God Bless America?

Posted By on June 12, 2019



in this episode of church talk we're going to talk about a song you know and a song you might not know in order to talk about the Bible immigration and kids but first we have to go Texas god Bless America to tune you've heard hundreds of times and chances are you even know the words or at least some of them the song became a hit in 1938 when Kate Smith sang the song of the radio Frank Sinatra heard her singing and declared that she was the best singer of all time and in the midst of a Great Depression and Nazi Germany this song and Kate's voice hit so many people but Kate Smith didn't write god Bless America that credit goes to Irving Berlin Irving Berlin wrote the song about 20 years earlier as the closing number to a musical he was writing but decided to change the last song at the last minute threw it in the bottom of his trunk till they pulled it out when his friend Kate called made a few tweaks and wrote the song that we know today but what does God Bless America mean for us today let's go find out I think it means that God gives blood scenes out to America but like that's about it I don't know it means that we are very prosperous country very fortunate to be living here god Bless America god bless the country that has been in just to so many people forty-five years before the song would be heard on the radio Irving Berlin heard his mother repeating this phrase god Bless America over and over again the family had just finished a long trip arriving in America from Russia to escape the persecution of Jews during World War one the inspiration for this song god Bless America that is so well known today began by bouncing around in the head of a five-year-old immigrants and so this family of immigrants arrives at the border with no wall to climb and no ice agents threatening to separate them godless god bless america is the prayer of an immigrant who crossed the border and found a place to call some people out there with their oval shape offices and their white painted houses you would like to turn this phrase god Bless America into some all right political spin off of make America great again we need to remember that it's not a political battle cry god Bless America is the prayer of an immigrant Frost the border and found a place to call home god bless america is a prayer not a political statement so let's put on our theological lenses and take a closer look at the first two words of this phrase the idea of God blessing someone is found all throughout the Bible from the Hebrew Scriptures with Abraham being called by God to go to the land that God promised him to the Gospels with Jesus standing on a hill declaring blessed out of the poor blessed are the persecuted blessed are those who mourn in Genesis chapter 12 God says to Abraham I will bless you I will make your name great and you will be a blessing all the people on earth will be blessed through you God blesses Abraham but it is not something that he keeps to himself he's blessed to be a blessing his hands open to receive and then to give back to the world around him because God's blessing is not something you trapped behind walls so only some people can have it and others can't therefore those who are overlooked by society and pushed to the margin this is exactly what Jesus is getting at in the Sermon on the Mount when he says blessed of the poor or blessed are the persecuted he's not saying that you have to suddenly become poor or go out and get yourself persecuted in a world that says you need money or status in order to be blessed Jesus is looking at the people around him and telling them that they are blessed exactly as they are blessed is the country that welcomes the foreigner the immigrant the refugee with the country that builds walls and bans Muslims a lot of words come to mind for that country none of them are blessed my friend Amanda one of the pastors at the Riverside Church saw the news about families being separated and immigrants being deported she woke up one morning inspired to do something to say something to sing something she called her friend Rebecca she picked up her guitar and she wrote a song called child of mine powerfully and prophetically calling everyone to love all the children regardless of what side of the border they were born on when you're in danger I'll do everything I can to keep you safe if you are hungry tired sick or scared I'll cross a line every time there's a baby would you get sleepy ever Ross you see when it comes to immigration the Bible has a few things to say who shall not wronged or oppress a foreigner when the foreigner resides with you in your land you shall not oppress the foreigner and in Matthew 25 we hear Jesus say I was a stranger and you welcomed me and when Jesus said let the little children come to me I don't think it looked anything like this we've created these borders and then declared them divine we demand that god bless our holy Huddle's and let everyone else go to hell we separate thousands of children from their families because it's the law as if laws are never unjust or in need of changing we need to turn over some tables as we follow a Jesus who breaks the rules any time they get in the way of him loving the people around him god bless america why don't we start with love your neighbor I wonder what Irving Berlin would think about his song today as we distort his prayer for the sake of our political rallies what songs would he write when he sees bands and building walls written into every new executive order what would his prayer be when he sees immigrants of families continuing to look for safety in a place to call home I don't know exactly what song he would write but I'd like to think it might sound something like this I'd break the law I'd break a wall I'd take the fall for you any demon encounter [Applause]

Posted by Lewis Heart

This article has 1 comment

  1. I agree with the message in this video, but we must not forget to also bless and pray for people we don't personally like or consider our enemies. They may be doing actions that run against the commands of God, but the christ-like thing to do is to be peaceful and merciful right back to them, instead of vengance and rage (I always think of the teaching Jesus have in Luke 6:27-36).
    Just thought I'd share that you. God bless your day, and a happy (late) 4th of July!

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