From CrossWalk.com, it begins…
When my father Ronald Reagan was born one-hundred years ago, his father Jack nicknamed him “Dutch.” As Dad explained it, Jack said, “For such a little fat Dutchman, he sure makes a lot of noise!”
Dad’s mother Nelle raised him in the Christian faith. She taught Dutch and his older brother Neil that everything that happens in our lives is part of God’s plan. The Lord, she said, uses setbacks in our lives to make us stronger.
When Dutch was eleven, he read a book called That Printer of Udell’s by Harold Bell Wright. My father identified with the novel’s protagonist, Dick Falkner. There were many similarities between Dick’s life and Dutch Reagan’s life. For example, both had alcoholic fathers and saintly Christian mothers.
…and it concludes…
My father’s faith was inseparable from his political beliefs. He hated Communism not only because it oppressed people economically and politically, but also oppressed them spiritually. In his “Evil Empire” speech in 1983, he said: “I’ve always maintained that the struggle now going on for the world will never be decided by bombs or rockets, by armies or military might. The real crisis we face today is a spiritual one.”
In 1922, an eleven-year-old boy was baptized, and when he came up out of the water, he answered God’s call. He took his faith from Dixon, Illinois, to Hollywood, to Washington, to Berlin, to Moscow. He waged spiritual warfare against an Evil Empire, and by God’s grace, he won. The Berlin Wall fell, the Cold War ended.
As Dad said in his farewell address to the nation, “All in all, not bad, not bad at all.” Amen and amen.
He and so many have given of their devotion in passing to our hands, the fragile treasure of sovereign freedom. And now perhaps they watch us, who are yet within these “surly bonds of Earth” and wonder if we are strong enough to bear it and pass it so instructively to those we see before us.
The salvation offered in God’s Lamb, from our sin’s alienation to God’s sharing of His own life, is His matter, between Himself and each person. It is not a “collective salvation,” to correct Mr. Obama. But, it does call us to be responsible to our fellow individuals and within our social contract.
What shall it be, to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Master” — and “to touch the face of God?”
What shall it be, not to?