As usual, the end of June and beginning of July are times for celebrations of citizenship and/or residency. And, why not? I’m happy to celebrate the freedoms, privileges and heritage afforded by this province and country, and, perhaps, to define just a little more clearly what it means to be Canadian. However, it is also prudent for us to consider that, even though we live in a privileged country, there are yet countries around the world where freedom is absent, where oppression and fear are the principles by which a country is led. Indeed, these are valid concerns, and thus, I believe our celebrations must be tempered with a sense of humility and gratitude.
In addition, as we celebrate, remember that you, as a Christian, are no stranger to patriotic celebrations. In fact, such is a weekly occurrence for us. We sing anthems like, “This World is Not My Home.” We remember figures in our history such as Abraham, who, “...when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents ... For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” (Heb. 11:8-10)
And, we acknowledge that “our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Php. 3:20) So, even though we celebrate at this time of year, we are still foreigners in this land. That’s because whether we live in freedom or in fear, in affluence or in poverty, our loyalty lies with Jesus Christ, the King of Kings, who rules from our home – heaven.