America has been making a lot of decisions lately. Most recently, America’s highest court decided that all 50 of the United States must recognize “marriages” between persons of the same sex.
I am not going to go on a tirade about God judging America for this — He has ample reason to judge us apart entirely from this debacle — but I am going to note that this morning’s verse rang truer than ever before as I read it this morning.
In The Bible, crowns are not typically symbolic of power. Look through the pages of scripture and you find that a horn is the symbol of power. Crowns are symbolic of majesty; of glory. When Jeremiah mourns that the crown has fallen from the head of Israel, he is not saying that their power has been broken — he says that plainly in other portions of the passage — and he is not saying that their influence has waned — again, he says that plainly elsewhere. Instead, he is mourning the loss of their glory. Where once Jerusalem had been considered a city inviolate; a precious place it was now a source of derision and disdain.
While pages have been and will be written on the crown falling from the head of America, I will note, instead, that the crown has fallen from the head of the church in much of the Western world. The church; God’s people used to be an example of what is good. We, by and large, are not. We lament the decline of marriage, but turn a blind eye to the fact that it declined in our midst when we began to divorce as often as the unbeliever. We lament the deaths of the unborn, but ignore those among us who wander about with murder in their hearts in the form of hate … I am glaring at you, Westboro Baptist. We speak of Jesus’ love and forgiveness and desire to restore and yet kill our own wounded when we learn that a pastor or leader has done something untoward. We should not be naïve about things — our Lord told us to be wise as serpents — but we should be restoring our own and doing everything in our power to bolster them; to strengthen them; to be a support that helps them to stand where once they fell.
If the crown has fallen from the head of America — a fact of which I have no doubt — it fell first from the head of the church in her midst. I am not perfect. God knows I have sins aplenty. Imperfection is not, however, disqualification in the eyes of God. I must pray for those who are blinded by the lies they have been told. I must speak the unadulterated Truth. I must also seek my Lord’s strength to live out in the midst of those same people an example of what He wants for us. If I would speak on the holiness of marriage, let me seek first to make my own marriage holy. If there is to be real, lasting change then it must begin with me. I must be changed. I must be holy. God commands as much when He bids me be holy because He is holy.
I mourn for my nation and her blindness. My heart breaks for those who think good this change; this redefining of something God defined at the foundation of the world. More, I mourn for myself and my fellow believers who have allowed the crown to fall from our head. We have sinned. And we have nothing like the unbeliever’s excuse.