In Psalm 16, David praises God because God has given him a delightful inheritance. King David sings, “my boundary lines have fallen in pleasant places.”
Americans can surely sing the same song. We celebrate the birth of our nation this week and, from the warm gulf waters to the North Atlantic, to the desert of the southwest, to San Francisco harbor, to the greatest farm ground in the world here in the Midwest, our lines have fallen in pleasant places.
But, even as we celebrate the blessings we enjoy as a country, we should thank God for those who went before us. We think of the year 1776 as a wonderful beginning. But, by the end of that first year, the Continental army was ready to quit. The ground was frozen and wherever the army marched shoeless leaving a bloody trail. Enlistments were running out and, by any realistic assessment, the end was near.
But, on Christmas Day of 1776 General Washington rolled the dice and crossed the icy Delaware. It was an awful night to position troops. Two men froze to death. Powder was wet and Washington told the soldiers to use their bayonets. Washington himself led the attack on Hessian troops in Trenton. It was a gruesome battle, a horrific scene of suffering and agony. Even the commander of the Hessians was mortally wounded.
I am Pastor Chris Brauns from the Red Brick Church. . . We are Americans. Our boundary lines have fallen in pleasant places. When you feel the warm sunshine on your shoulders while grilling out, remember that a group of men, some of them only 17 years old and younger, marched across frozen ground, forded an icy river, and fought with bayonets so that we could grill hamburgers and watch fireworks in our small towns.