Old Glory’s stars and stripes, the banner of the world’s most prosperous, powerful nation of which I was born under as a citizen. The red stripes remind me of the blood my forefathers shed that made it possible for me to claim my American citizenship. Less than 4.4 % of this world’s ever expanding 7.4 billion inhabitants can make this claim.
14 % of my fellow citizen are naturalized citizens. As a parent of three adopted children, two from a foreign county, it’s been my privilege to witness a naturalization ceremony. The patriotic emotion of our nation’s newest citizens was overwhelming. Passionate tears of joy streamed down cheeks from people of every “… tribe, nation, people and language…” as they pledged their oath of citizenship to their new country. In that moment I realized just how truly blessed I was to be born an American. For over 200 years this precious freedom has been ours to enjoy. How long will it endure in today’s troubled world is an ominous prospect. May our, and our nation’s leaders future decisions be grounded in divine wisdom, not in the pride of power, greed and political correctness.
Reflecting on these thought this July 4th, I was reminded of yet another banner which I’ve been blessed to be ‘naturalized’ under . . . the scars and stripes banner of One whose country will endure forever. 2,000 years ago the red of those horrific stripes were cruelly gouged out in the back of my Savior . . . the price His unfathomable love freely chose to endure to adopt me into His family as a citizen of heaven.
My prayer on this our nation’s Independence Day is you share the blessing of ‘dual citizenship’, and have chosen to become an adopted, ‘naturalized’ citizen of heaven. As with every choice, three options exist . . . ignore . . . deny . . . accept. The consequences are eternal.
Keep Looking Up