JESUS sits IN STATE in my heart,
And there is NO SEPARATION:
HE’s the LORD of CHURCH and STATE –
In fact, of ALL CREATION.
CHRIST builds and guides my life here,
For he is my FIRM FOUNDATION,
And when my life gets hard,
Then JESUS is my CONSOLATION.
Though mention of HIS name these days
May stir up CONSTERNATION,
I love CHRIST’s name and find there
Every hope and EXALTATION.
In JESUS I have confidence
Of my FULL RESTORATION,
And practice now to praise HIS name
With HEAVEN’s CONGREGATION.
With CHRIST in heaven I will find
My soul’s REPATRIATION:
Good rest: in peace at last
Within God’s holy COMPILATION.
February 18, 2015
Originally, I wrote this as a reaction to the idea that one can have a “religious” (or church) self, and a different “public” (or state) self. Seems like trying to live that kind of double-life for very long would be both a lot of trying work, and doomed to fail in the end. But a lot of people who don’t know their history (those that don’t understand that Thomas Jefferson was trying to reassure a church that the government wouldn’t be overstepping its bounds by trying to tell the church how to run things) are bandying about the idea of “separation of church and state”. And they are totally misapplying the concept to the degree that makes hypocrites of anyone who would actually try to practice such a notion. We act out of who we are deep inside our hearts. If we love God, we will naturally love people. Yet, the government today strives to remove more and more Bible teachings from public life, while at the same time wondering why respect for others is decreasing and crime rates are rising. I don’t think it takes a rocket scientist to figure this one out. But it does take a humble person with a teachable spirit to accept it.
Enough preaching for you?
Let us now go to the mechanics of composition, where I will inevitably find another soap box. Follow me if you dare into another thorny discussion:
I have to tell you that I have suffered some anxiety over that last line. My original thought was to end with the words “with all the others of my nation”. Which made perfect sense to me. But, which I sadly realized, could so easily be misinterpreted, and even construed with a racist bias. Whereas I would be thinking in my head that “my nation” was all the Christians God had saved that were now in heaven, some readers (especially the ignorant or the narrow-minded – not that this would include any of you kind souls reading my blog here) might be inclined to think that heaven is a segregated place where people are grouped by ethnicity or traditions. (Unless they have really bad table manners. In which case, they may be beyond any redemption of any kind ever. Oh, no! Did I actually say that? Sigh. My own secret prejudices have tracked me down again and have shown me and the rest of the world how very much I still do really need a Savior! Good thing that we have one!) Ethnic segregation is the last thing in the world I could imagine for heaven. In fact, racial bias is one of the things I hate most in the world, and I often am telling my children (really, anyone I feel I may be able to influence) that we should judge people by their actions, not their skin color or background. I’ll tell you now that I don’t think that any flavor of racial supremacists will be found in heaven. Because such people can either glue themselves to their prejudices and let said prejudices drag them straight to hell. Or else the supremacists can release their silly prejudices back to hell from which the prejudices came, and put their trust in God and go to heaven apart from all prejudicial ideas. I think that a person can either have God and enjoy a place in God’s eternal home – HEAVEN – or he can keep his prejudices and racial hatreds and enjoy them forever in the place that has been prepared for them – i.e, HELL. You won’t find racism in heaven.
But “COMPILATION” seems such a weak, and inadequate word to describe the treasure-hunting God has been doing since the beginning of time to fill heaven with people who will love HIM back. When I looked for examples of the word “compilation” used in context, they seemed to describe only written works: for example, “stories to add to the compilation”. But I like to think it could also apply to a costly and growing collection of trusted friends and family. And since it is the only word I could find that remotely does the job while fitting the meter and rhyme scheme I was using here, looks like it will have to do.
Praying for you to become a permanent part of “God’s holy compilation”,
P.S. I think I’ll go soak myself now for a few minutes in the last two chapters of Revelation. Those would be chapters 21 and 22. You are welcome to join me in spirit, if you like. : )