I was reminder that in history, certain moments stand as timeless reminders of the power of words to shape destinies. One such pivotal moment occurred on November 19, 1863, when Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address—a speech that transcends its historical context and echoes through the corridors of time. Lincoln spoke for just a few minutes that day and surprisingly he was not the main attraction on that day. A popular myth tells of President Lincoln hastily jotting down his 272 word speech on the back of an envelope during the train ride from Washington to Gettysburg. As I reflected on Lincoln’s profound words, we find inspiration not only in the pursuit of national unity but also in a higher calling that resonates with the core tenets of our Christian faith.
Lincoln’s call for unity, came as he was standing on the hallowed grounds of Gettysburg, as he spoke of a nation torn apart by civil war. In just 272 words, he encapsulated the essence of democracy and the collective responsibility to ensure a government “of the people, by the people, for the people.” His poignant call for a united nation became a rallying cry for reconciliation and healing.
I thought of the parallels with this call for unity, that he proclaimed that the Christian message also call’s believers to embrace a higher calling—one that transcends worldly divisions. And we do not have to look far in our world to see a world divided in may ways. The Bible reminds us in Psalm 133:1, “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!” Lincoln’s words, while rooted in a historical struggle, echo the timeless truth found in biblical teachings about the importance of unity among God’s people.
As we dive deeper into the Christian message, we find that the concept of a higher calling is woven into the fabric of faith. Philippians 3:14 urges believers to “press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” This upward call transcends the temporal challenges we face, directing our focus towards a divine purpose that unites us as children of God. Have you found yourself this year juggling challenges that you have not whole heartedly turned over to the Lord?
Lincoln’s address, delivered in the midst of a brutal conflict, serves as a picture of a battleground where unity and purpose triumph over discord. Similarly, the Christian journey is often marked by spiritual battles, and yet, the promise of a higher calling resonates throughout Scripture, reminding believers that their true citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:20).
As Lincoln envisioned a nation guided by principles of equality and justice, Christians find their moral compass in the teachings of the Bible. Proverbs 3:5-6 advises, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” This biblical wisdom becomes the divine blueprint for a life aligned with a higher calling—a life marked by faith, love, and unity.
So as I reflected on Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg address from that day in November so many years ago and how he intertwine its message with the timeless truths of Christianity, we can discover a harmonious narrative of unity, purpose, and a higher calling. Just as Lincoln sought to bind the wounds of a divided nation, Christians are called to be peacemakers and agents of reconciliation in a world longing for peace and harmony across so many areas. While embracing this higher calling, we can draw strength from both historical and yes biblical wisdom. As we strive towards a unity that reflects the transformative power of a life lived in service to God and fellow humanity we pray Lord lead me to bring the gospel of peace to a lost generation.
Who do you need to be restored to in the days ahead?