As I strolled those sidewalks, I was keenly aware of being where Washington, Jefferson, Hamilton, and Franklin, among others, gave birth to our nation.
I thought of the words of Lincoln spoken nearly a century later, when he said at Gettysburg, “... whether that nation — or any nation so conceived and so dedicated — can long endure.” I was forced to ask, can our nation long endure?
Our republic is a long way from God. Its morals are rotten, its respect for the sacred is almost nil, and its hate one for the other is constant. Within a six-week period in Philadelphia, 11 people were murdered on the streets.
In another state a 16-year-old boy was walking to school in broad daylight. Another youth approached him and stabbed him in the neck with a kitchen knife and four inches of the blade broke off in the flesh.
The attacker fled while the victim slumped on the sidewalk. The attacker may never be caught, for many criminal offenders are not apprehended. In these days of rampant crime and political dishonesty, we should vote, run for office, and participate in community organizations. Here, we are responsible.
We are also responsible to our church, which we should attend regularly. Our local church needs committed members; that is, members committed to Christ and to the objectives of the church.
Then, we are responsible to our God. No activity will keep us more mindful of God than regular Bible reading.
Jonathan Goforth labored in China for many years as a dedicated minister and finally, as a very effective missionary. After learning the difficult language, he read the New Testament through at least 27 times.
He was a great power for God and a deeply consecrated man. In her book “Goforth of China,” Rosaland Goforth, his wife, tells of his avid Bible study. Yet, during his last days this humble man stated, “One of my greatest regrets is that I have not read the Bible more.” Jesus said, “You do err, not knowing the scriptures ...” (Matthew 22:29).
We should be people of prayer. To be alone with God in the early morning is a choice privilege. We owe it to ourselves and our God to have daily, systematic private devotions, for in them we are afforded the opportunity for God to talk to us through His Word and we can talk to Him in prayer.
In the community, then, we should take an active part in politics, school, and certainly in church. Our responsibility to God includes being a witness for Him, being faithful in prayer, Bible reading, and holy living.