A Great and Powerful Nation

What makes a nation powerful?

  • Is it the size of it’s budget?
  • Is it the size of it’s arsenal?
  • Is it the “footprint” it makes in the world – carbon – or otherwise?
  • Is it the skill of it’s diplomats?
  • Is it the shrewd negotiating power of it’s leaders?
  • Is it something else?

What makes a nation great?

  • Is it how it is organized?
  • Is it the law by which it is governed?
  • Is it the philosophy by which it acts?
  • Is it something else?

We might agree to all – or none – of the above suggestions.

But here’s one more suggestion, from a faith perspective.

What makes a nation great and powerful is it’s spiritual connection to God.

Now here, we must be very careful.

It is so easy to take all of our own political inclinations, liberal, moderate, or conservative – all our predisposed ideas – about how a government should be run, and who should run it, all our nationalistic inclinations, and just insert them into this premise.

It is so easy to say that the Republicans or the Democrats or the Tea Party or the Green Party or any other group “has it right” – and to follow their program – is to follow God.

Be careful with that.   God can’t be so easily boxed in.

On the other hand, it is worth remembering that in God’s promise to a fellow Abraham – made a very long time ago – God established a covenant that God said would be everlasting and time and again God spoke of that promise saying He would, as part of that covenant, establish Abraham’s line as a “great and powerful nation” that would be blessed – as well as be a blessing – to the whole world.

It would extend beyond the national borders of the nation of Israel.

It would extend beyond twentieth century borders of any country.

God was establishing a people of faith – that extends beyond one religious denomination as we define it.

So, what makes a nation great and powerful?

God.  In all His mercy, power, wisdom, compassion and plan.

Are we, as individuals, and a people,  aligned with that mercy, power, wisdom, compassion and plan?

Sounds to me like that’s something work praying about.



By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: