I remember the first time I returned from a mission trip overseas. We had been in a Middle Eastern country for a couple of months and I was really ready to get home. We had had a great summer and had met some very gracious people. But I have to admit as we flew into New York my excitement was palpable. When we walked into JFK and I saw the American Flag, I knew we were home. I can still taste one of my first meals back. My mom made me some fried chicken, beans, cornbread and some of her famous fried potatoes (with a lot of onions.) Man that’s the good stuff!
What is it about our citizenship that stirs our hearts so? Why do I get choked up when my son’s elementary school says the pledge of allegiance during their assembly? Why do Olympic athletes cry like a baby when the national anthem is played at a gold-medal presentation? Why is it that we Americans can tear each other to shreds in our exchange of ideas but if you aren’t an American and you criticize or attack us you will be met with a very bi-partisan kick-in-the-seat-of-the-pants. Nationalism is a big part of who we are as a country. We are Americans! And proud of it! (This is where America the beautiful cranks up in the sound version of the blog).
But the reality of my position as a believer is that I a have a dual citizenship. My passport may say Unites States of America but I am also a citizen of heaven. Listen to Paul in Galatians 3:20-21.
20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 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.
What does it mean to be a citizen of heaven? I don’t think it is very much different from the rabid commitment that we have for our own country. Except for the fact that our citizenship in heaven is positional and partially realized (i.e. We have never been there). But someday it will be as real as baseball, hotdogs, apple pie, and Chevrolet. We should be excited about it. Paul say’s “we eagerly await our King from there.” We should be committed to it’s people and stand up for them no matter which earthly country they live in. We should be involved in obeying the laws of the land (the Bible). But most of all we should be enthused about the Government of our new home. Heaven is a theocracy and the Father is Theo!
As an American our country started by throwing off the earthly reign of the King of England. But as a Christ follower, I look toward being under the authority of the kind and benevolent King of Kings. I love America but when you cut me I really want to bleed heavenly colored blood. I wonder what color that is? Maybe purple and gold!