Monday, July 01, 2013

O Canada, we live on guard for thee

Seahorse Tugboat - flying Canadian flag - Ganges Harbor, Salt Spring Island BC
Canada's flag on Seahorse Tugboat - Ganges Harbor, Salt Spring Island, BC
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Isaiah 32:1-20

TO CHEW ON: "Then justice will dwell in the wilderness,
And righteousness remain in the fruitful field.
The work of righteousness will be peace
and the effect of righteousness,
quietness and assurance forever." - Isaiah 32:16,17

Today is Canada Day—a day we Canadians focus on our country. We celebrate with parades, picnics and face painting, citizenship ceremonies and fireworks. Though our celebrations may seem superficial, they are an expression of a deep thankfulness for so many things:
- democracy.
- a country where, to a great extent, color, race, and religion don't matter.
- clean air and water and, in most places, lots of room to live, explore, hike.
- unity in diversity, of provinces, races, culture, natural resources.

My friend Satwant is an immigrant to this country. In a poem titled "Let's Celebrate Canada Day" she expresses what many of us feel. Here is the last stanza:
"Let's dream together, work together,
and keep this country safe and whole
Because this is the best country in the world
Because this is 'HOME.'"
- Satwant Kaur Pandher, from The Healing Power of Nature, p. 101.

That picture of peace and plenty is what our focus verse paints. However, it begins with the word "Then…" signifying this condition hinges on something. The verse just above it tells us what: "Until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high…"

My Bible's notes explain:

"He (Isaiah) pictures the Holy Spirit as the source of all end times blessings. Here is the first time there is a connection between the ministry of the Spirit and the moral and ethical results of salvation such as justice and righteousness. The Spirit is not only involved in the ministry of judgment (Isaiah 28:6) but He is also the source of a peaceful, ethical existence" - Nathaniel Van Cleave, notes on Isaiah, New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 910.

This is where I see an application for myself and for all of us who claim to know and be indwelt by the Holy Spirit. We can be an asset to the peace, well-being, and fruitfulness of our country as we allow the Spirit to move us in channels of peace, righteousness, justice, honesty, and integrity. He can help us live on guard for our country!

PRAYER: Dear Holy Spirit, may Your control in my life impact how I live my life in my home, city and nation. I pray for Canada today, that we will have the justice, righteousness, peace, quietness, and fruitfulness these verses speak of. Amen.

MORE: O Canada

Our national anthem, O Canada, has four stanzas. The last one is a prayer:

Ruler supreme, who hearest humble prayer,
Hold our Dominion, in thy loving care.
Help us to find, O God, in thee,
A lasting rich reward.
As waiting for the better day,
We ever stand on guard.
God keep our land, glorious and free.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee!


The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. - Used with permission.
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