Chances are that if you live in the USA, you’re probably on your way to the nearest lake or a family member or friend’s house for a classic Fourth of July cookout. Grilled burgers and sandy beaches await! In the evening follow fireworks, while families and friends shoot bottle rockets and light sparklers from the driveway.
American Christians can be proud of their national history, and the hand they’ve played in shaping the United States over the years. It isn’t that either America or the Christians who live there are perfect. But Americans can be proud of the religious freedom that’s integral to their national identity, and American Christians can be grateful to God for the opportunity to worship Him without fear of persecution—a freedom that countless believers past and present have not enjoyed.
Christians approach patriotism differently. Yes, we can be proud to be Americans, just as any person of any nationality can be proud of their national heritage. But as Christians, we know that our true kingdom is not here on earth. We’re citizens of a heavenly kingdom. Philippians 3 says:
But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
The national borders we know so well are only temporary. This earth will pass, and the kingdom to which we are called by God will replace it. We can celebrate the cultures and histories that shape us while looking ahead to a better world to come.
Whoever you are, American or otherwise, you have a plenty of reasons to be thankful today. Lets take this time to celebrate, relax, and enjoy!