Happy 4th of July

Charles Drew wrote a smallish book a few years ago that has proved to be a rich resource in thinking about living out our personal faith in public life (see: A Public Faith. NavPress, 2000.).  On this July 4th we pause to thank God for our country.  It is the time when we may be most aware of the freedoms we have been afforded as citizens of one of the greatest nations ever.  It is also a time when we recognize the limitations of this kingdom.  Our experience as free men and woman deepens our yearning for complete freedom and peace for which our hearts have always longed.  You see, the most distinguished Christians across history have been the most faithful citizens.  They have also longed for the coming kingdom of Jesus.  We are told in Hebrews that Abraham, when his feet were planted firmly here on earth, was looking forward to a city whose foundation is found in God.  We know this selfsame longing, this holy tension.  But, we can forget.  While other Christians have had their focus on the kingdom of Jesus made more clear and urgent by persecution or deprivation, our vision has been blurred by all the benefits our nation has provided to us. The question today is: how can we be grateful for what we have without losing our holy longing for what has been promised?  How can we enjoy all that we have been given without forgetting that it is a shadow at best of what is to come?

So this 4th of July, let’s reflect and give thanks for our heritage and our present riches.  Let us remember our founding fathers and their accomplishments, and the sacrifices of subsequent generations that maintained this freedom and kept the peace.  At the same time, let us remember that this is not our kingdom.

20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ… Phil. 3

Happy 4th.

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Sandy Carson on April 13, 2012 at 12:27 am

    A holy tension.
    I know my citizenship is in heaven & I usually don’t feel I “fit in” here :-).


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