Today is the day America celebrates its founding. I wasn’t going to post anything. But then a Facebook friend announced that, as a follower of Jesus–and therefore as a citizen of no earthly kingdom but rather of God’s kingdom–he steers clear of participating in national celebrations.
That triggered in me a “What do I think about that?” response. Result? I realized that I agree. And disagree.
On the one hand, I am a follower of Jesus, and as his ambassador (2 Corinthians 5:19-20) owe my allegiance to him alone–always and forever.
On the other hand, ambassadors are called–and if they are true ambassadors feel a natural yearning–to support the land in which they’ve been planted. If they see some injustice or need in the culture around them, or observe something worthy of celebrating, and are in a position to do something about it, does not their King require them to do so? A good ambassador can do no less, and yet will always staunchly steer clear of political entanglements. He will never forget the One he represents.
Therefore, I will call myself a patriot, but not a nationalist. I will celebrate this nation’s extraordinary history–without labelling it “better” than all others. And I will honor this land in every way I can.
But I will never cease to serve my King.