July 4, 2013
Where is home for you? Regardless of where you reside, your home may be somewhere far away. I spent my formative years in Argentina and will always have a special affection for the people and places etched in my memory. Yet my homeland is the United States. That is where my family has its roots. That is where most of my story finds its context.
Depending on whom you ask, there are between 189 and 196 nations of the world. Most of them celebrate Independence Day, a day that marks their freedom of self-governance and independence from outside control. Today, on the 4th of July, Americans celebrate their Independence and rehearse the story of their beginnings as a nation.
Patriotism is defined as loyalty and devotion to one’s own country. It is natural and right to appreciate the costly freedom that any of us enjoy and the many rich cultural gifts that have become part of our lives. For Christians however, there is an added reality that supersedes nationalism. The church is international and interdependent! Philippians 3:20 says, “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” And Peter reminds us, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (1Pe. 2:9)
We are told in Revelation that in the Kingdom of heaven there will be a people from every nation, tribe and tongue!
So, as we in America celebrate today and as you celebrate on your own day, let’s remember that we who have been rescued, adopted and made the children of God through what Jesus accomplished on the cross, are the universal body of Christ. Our passports reveal where we call home, but our family extends around the world.