Fourth of July is a great time. The celebration, the fireworks, the heat… it all comes together for the country and makes this great cocktail of a holiday. I look at this holiday, and it really does create a sense of American pride. Of what we are, where we came from, who we can be.
We have flags on shirts, on poles, on decoration, in our gardens… We talk about our founding father’s like they’re royalty. We memorize our presidents, read books on war heroes and have parades when they come home(though we celebrate athletes more, but that can be for another day). We talk about our politics and those in office non-stop. We talk about our greatness, just in general. We love our American lifestyle and most wouldn’t give it up for the world.
None of these things are necessarily bad, but I thought: there really are similarities to Easter for Christians. They’re both celebrations of the greatest date for a country or religion, of the sacrifices made. Easter comes with great jubilation at churches, and many times brings great productions that bring people to tears. But, I sometimes wonder, which are we more thrilled for? Our nation’s celebration or our Savior’s celebration?
We’ve heard that our nation was founded on Christian ideas and is a Christian nation. I love our Christian nation, but I think sometimes the two get too intermingled. Our God is not just the God of America, but the God of the world. We all know our God should be exalted above all other things. But, which celebration is bigger in your house? Where do I get the most pride? From association with my God or my Nation?
Association with our nation is great. We get a lot of pride and security from that. But, really it’s fleeting. Only Christ’s reign is eternal. Think about the power of that. Think about the pride that should bring us! We all have frustrations with our nation, but we still have immense pride. We shouldn’t (and don’t?) have frustrations with our Savior but can be ashamed to claim him. Wow!
This was a reflection for me this Independence Day, so I hope this causes a little reflection for you!
…no one will snatch them out of my hand. John 10:28