For God & Country

February 19, 2018

Today is Presidents' Day. The holiday was created in 1968 to act as a way to honor all presidents of the United States, but it is especially for George Washington and Abraham Lincoln -- hence the date falls between their two birthdays. Presidents' Day was fixed as the third Monday in February in 1971, but even before then, Washington's birthday had been celebrated as a day of remembrance for our first president; in fact, Washington's Birthday became a federal holiday in 1879 and was celebrated long before then.

 

When we look back on the history of our presidents, some of course stand out more than others. While I'm not entirely convinced anyone will ever celebrate the birthdays of Martin Van Buren or James Garfield, we all know Washington, Lincoln, and the Roosevelts. As different presidents have had different significance for our country, different presidents have had different relationships with God, too. Some were devout Christians; others were not. John F. Kennedy remains the only Roman Catholic ever elected to our country's highest office, and Jimmy Carter is one of a very few evangelicals, being (until 2000) a Southern Baptist Sunday school teacher. Most have been a combination of Episcopalians, Presbyterians, and Methodists. It's debated whether Lincoln himself was a Christian, as he never publicly professed any faith at all other than a general belief in God, and Jefferson flatly rejected Jesus as God. Even today, we live in a time where the faith of both our current president and his immediate predecessor has been called into question as a matter of national importance.

 

Clearly it matters to us, as both Americans and as Christians, that our presidents be men of faith in Jesus Christ. As we celebrate Presidents' Day today, let us thank God for the godly men who have led our nation and built her into what she is today. Let us also take time to pray for Pres. Trump and his own relationship with God. And finally, let us pray for one another, all those who live in a land governed by the President of the United States of America -- but only under the authority of Almighty God.

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