Since our country is based on Christian principals and we know our “Founding Fathers” were praying people, what does that really mean to us today?
How can we as modern Americans and representatives in our Christian community strive to fill their shoes?
We are all so diverse in our beliefs…how can we find Common Ground with those who are suspicious of our prayers? Who have been hurt by us and marginalized until their hearts have been hardened and closed to any mention of our faith?
This blog is one I posted as a continuation from a special blog called “Visions of Harmony” using the exterior of our Capitol Dome as my inspiration and linking it to the teachings of Jesus. Specifically that there would be a time when worshippers would worship in “Spirit and in Truth”.
In this blog I looked into the interior of the capital dome specifically the “heart” of this work called The Apotheosis of Washington. As I look closely I realize the spirit and truth of our first president in his motto:“E Pluribus Unum” “From the Many One” and standing in his shoes and looking up, it hangs above us like an Utopian dream.
This ideal of strength from a union of many diverse parts is in fact what our country was founded on. ( The motto “In God We Trust” was not adopted until the 1950s.) And so it is under the capital dome in the great Rotunda that we are reminded to find common ground.
This idea captured my imagination as I delved into discovering the man George Washington. His farewell address is a wonderful education on the utopian ideals of this our first president and I encourage you to take a closer look sometime:) It will remind you of who we are as a nation and perhaps as a Christian community.
I also found it very interesting to learn that our House of Representatives adopted the reading of Washington’s Farewell address at the beginning of the Civil War. Because of a public out cry, they read this great speech on Washington’s 130th birthday in 1862. It was later adopted by both house as a tradition but abandoned by the House in 1984.
So close your eyes and picture in your mind all those immigrants who made their individual pilgrimages to our shores…who are still making their way here to form a new identity. To the shedding of the old and grabbing hold of new names, new states of being. They became Virginians and Marylanders; Bostonians and New Yorkers, and later Californians…Texans and finally Hawaiians.
All of these vastly different people came together to put hand to the plow of freedom that turns the soil of our hearts to celebrate our rugged individualism along side our brotherhood that is born from our freedom in Christ. (Gal 5:1) In their wisdom these brave souls were lead by one main theme of strength in unity and so:
They found common ground!
If we believe and cling to the idea that these great men that formed our beginnings as a nation were praying men, then the ideals that were born in Washington and later protected and preserved by Lincoln, were I believe, God breathed and born of the Spirit.
A Spirit that is seeking common ground…
A spirit of unity and freedom that lifts up the weak because it knows we are made stronger by the whole and a spirit of liberty that can allow us to see the other guys point of view in an argument…that allows us to say “we both want the same thing in the end” and that for one brief shinning moment each of us might consider the other right….we might put the others interest first.
Because we have stood on common ground…
As we pray:
Dear Lord, help us to never give up our strength of character and ideals, but give us the wisdom and patience to find the things that unite us this week in our families and in our work places. May we find it in our communities and in our Houses of Worship and let this new vibration cause a ripple affect that brings a greater union in our land so that we may shine a light to the rest of the world.
“Love thy neighbor as thy self” and begin by finding common ground.
God bless us as we live and work this week!