by Bob Wickizer

Hanging Together
Rev. Bob Wickizer
Genesis 12:1-8; Psalm 33:12-22; Romans 4:1-17; John 3:1-17
2 Lent
24 February 2002

During one of the darkest hours of World War II for Britain, Sir Winston Churchill once quoted Benjamin Franklin's remark at the signing of the Declaration of Independence to his countrymen, "We must hang together for if we don't, we shall surely hang separately." Together with the Allies, the British military and with heroic sacrifices made by the British people, we overcame the Nazi threat. What a difference the course of world history would be today had the United States continued its pre-Pearl Harbor policy of isolationism. Bombs were not raining on the United States so we in the United States could comfortably sit back and say, "That's a European problem and that's a Chinese problem we are not going to interfere." Of course, Pearl Harbor changed our complacency and isolationism.

Perhaps it's part of our cowboy heritage to think in terms of "I'll take care of my problems and you take care of yours and we'll get along just fine." American rugged individualism permeates everything in our society from political decisions to wage war to clothing fashions worn by teenagers. We believe that problems can be isolated to a handful of causes and that unless our name is in one of those causes, we can ignore the problem because it does not belong to us individually. We believe that we are invulnerable as we drive ourselves to work encased inside steel and glass bubbles at sixty miles per hour. We believe in a personal Lord and savior so much that even some Episcopalians still argue that the Nicene creed should begin with "I believe in God" and that the prayers of the people should say "Lord hear my prayer."

Yes, everything is individualized today. Nordstrom department stores assign "personal shoppers" for their best customers. Internet technology enables marketers to develop and target individual, personal marketing spots for product ...

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