Today is, to no ones surprise, one of the most “celebrated” holidays. In America on the fourth, from 9pm (CST) until 2 in the morning, firework shows are exploding all over the nation. Can you imagine what it would be like to watch the United States from space tonight?
Well, maybe you can, I think it would be awesome. Celebration is an understatement though. At Christmas, we give gifts and bake cookies and sing songs but everyones traditions are different and some people, as we live in the melting pot don’t celebrate Christmas but the fourth, everyone does. Today, your Facebook feed will be of parade pictures and sparklers being lit and articles with soldiers and flags. Your Instagram scroll will be filled with the similar but instead people wearing red, white and blue, it will be of strawberries and blueberries with whipped cream and root beer, and regular beer, hot dogs and watermelon. It will have bomb pops and laughter, high wasted shorts and bikinis. It will have flag this and flag that. Today, it seems like everyone eats picnic food and grills out, drinks things from coolers and lights fireworks. We all wear 3 colors and yell freedom in various ways. There is family and friends, today is hardly a day of sadness. Although I’m sure it is for some, some who have lost troops or who are experiencing the first holiday without a loved one. There is hope.
I read an article yesterday about church services and patriotism and how my generation feels about that. It was interesting but what I found most important was the need to emphasize the eternal citizenship we have in Christ rather than hoping or scoffing at our Nations citizenship. Yes, we thank our troops and honor those who have served. We must fight to respect our leaders in authority even when we disagree with them. Can you imagine trying to make decisions for 313 million people? uhhh… I can barely make decisions for myself, heck, I can’t even decide what kind of coffee I want when I go to Starbucks. I seriously have to tell the barista I need a few minutes, 99% of the time. The drive through is the worst for me.
I’m not saying I’m for or against Obama, or that you should be, I just think we should honor our authority, even if it means you disagree. I also don’t mean to say we shouldn’t fight for what we believe is right, when our government thinks otherwise but thats another blog post.
Today I’m reminded of the future I have in eternity because of the price Jesus paid for me on the cross. He died to take away my sins so that I would be adopted into the eternal kingdom of God. My citizenship lies in heaven, even more than it ever lies in my so called American freedom. Jesus is the hope for the loss we may feel today, for the sadness we experience without the “good ole’ days” but thankfully we have a comforter that has called us to Himself.
All that to say, I’m even more excited to bring hope of Eternal citizenship to the Middle East as I plan to move to study this fall. I am excited to be in class again and learn and grow in infinite ways as I adopt a new culture. Oh, what many blessings I have to learn from the hospitable people of Lebanon!
Happy Fourth of July, and remember that your citizenship, your hope and security is not in the freedom our country promises but the eternal freedom God has given through his son Jesus Christ.