I love the 4th of July. For me growing up it was BBQ’s, swimming, family, and fireworks. My mom went out of her way to make red, white and blue desserts from cool whip, strawberries, and blueberries, and we sat outside until late at night, watching the fireflies and fireworks.
Now, years later I find myself on this 4th of July living in Central Asia, where most have never heard of such holiday nor do they care. Because we have 3 kids of our own, we still attempt to make it into a special day. Inviting friends over, barbecuing chicken, making cold salads, and even making our own flag cake with a prized bag of red, white, and blue m & m’s we’d saved for today.
But there is something that living overseas has taught me. A lesson learned again and again, this world is not my home. See, for our family we don’t really fit. We are that odd puzzle shape that doesn’t quite fit in that picture or this picture. The USA is our home country, a country we love, but Nepal is our host country, which we also love.
I read an article recently, God Bless America! (and other dangerous prayers), which I could totally identify with as well.
In this article the author said, “As followers of Christ, our great desire is that he would be made great. We desire that his greatness would be known everywhere, not our country’s. We want the banner of our God to be raised up, that his Love would be seen, and that all those who see it will run to Him and be saved.”
As citizens of the Kingdom, we should celebrate and cherish and love the global Church, the Bride, wherever she may be found. Her flag is our flag.
And she is not just in America. She’s in Algeria and Russia and Brazil. There are millions in the Kingdom who speak Arabic and Urdu and Mandarin. Our fellow citizens live in the jungles of the Congo, along the Amazon (and in Nepal).
And everyone who’s not already a part of the Kingdom of God? Well, we want them to know they’re invited! So may God bless Algeria and Afghanistan and Argentina. And may God bless America!
So on this 4th of July we celebrate our home country, and the freedoms we have because of her. And we celebrate the independence so many brave soldiers fought for. But we also celebrate our “true home” country because we are all simply passing through, no matter where we may live today. We also celebrate the freedom we have in Christ. A freedom that is available to all people regardless of race, color, or nationality.
For one day we will all be home, and it will be a joyous day as we all fall to our knees singing the Lord’s praise in a host of different languages!