Grace, Mercy, and Peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
What does it mean to be a citizen of a nation? This is a question we consider at this time of the year. There is more to it than hamburgers and fireworks. In this nation, the Fourth of July is a day of celebration and independence. After all, the United States adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776, declaring her independence from the kingdom of Great Britain. There is, of course, the concern that many evangelical sociologists have observed of America’s equalizing of God and country. As we will see in Judges, the people of Israel viewed kingship with Godhead. If they gained the favor of the people then certainly they would gain the favor of God. But the reality is sometimes the opposite: when a people gain the favor of God most likely they will gain the disfavor of the people.
So, what does it mean to be a citizen of a nation? At the very least it means praying that your nation turns to the God of the Bible revealed in Jesus Christ. A bumper sticker “God bless America” is not sufficient, rather a lifestyle that blesses the Triune God is a more reliable substitute.
The more faithful you are to God in your workplace and in the home, the more faithful you are to this nation God has planted you. What this nation needs is not some nebulous return for prayer in school; this nation needs an old fashioned return to biblical authority. We may be independent in terms of not submitting to the rule of another nation, but as Christians independence is a great curse word. We are rather to be a dependent people; trusting that God will undo the darkness of this land and fill it with faithful and godly churches and families who would rather serve God than man.
Let us pray: We thank you for the wealth of this nation, O Christ. We thank you for the rich biblical heritage given in the lives of the pilgrims and our puritan forefathers. May we learn from them and model them, but may we not desire a return to the past, but may we desire a return to the glorious future that awaits us as we serve you alone: Father, Son, and Spirit. Amen.