There’s and old gospel tune called “This World is Not My Home.” The song reminds us as believers that we’re not citizens of this world. In the 80s Lone Justice did a stellar version.

Today we’re celebrating the birth of our nation, and Independence Day can be complicated when it falls on a Sunday. As a church staffer who has a hand in service programming, I can see the temptation to go overboard with patriotism. It’s something we’ve done before, as a matter of fact.

On a day like today, we mustn’t forget that our American citizenship isn’t our primary citizenship. Don’t get me wrong, I love celebrating our nation’s birth, and I’m proud to be an American citizen.

The founders of this great nation sought to create a country where we could worship freely, speak freely, and live freely. Even if you believe that some of our freedoms are under assault, you have to admit that we have it better than people all over the world do.

But let’s not lose sight of the fact that we’re just here on earth temporarily. We have an eternal home that’s being prepared for us and a citizenship among God’s people that far supersedes any blessing that being an American can offer us.

Paul talks about our eternal citizenship in Ephesians 2:13-22 (ESV):

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

By all means, celebrate America today. Watch fireworks. Sing patriotic songs. Throw a steak or two on the grill. Do a cannonball into the pool. But as you’re celebrating, remember Who our freedom comes from.

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery (Galatians 5:1 ESV).

While you celebrate your earthly, temporary home, remember your eternal home.


Check out the previous installments in Chris Queen’s Liberty Island writings on faith:

My Church Heritage and How It Shaped Me

What I’ve Learned from Reading a Systematic Theology

A Faith-Drenched View of the South

The Pitfalls of Emotional Christianity


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