It’s not the customary celebration we have grown to expect. There were no parades and few fireworks displays. Even family or community cookouts were confined by social distancing and safe practice guidelines. Like many birthday parties and other celebrations, the celebration of our nation’s birth was tempered by the pandemic of Covid-19.
A Birthday Message For America
It has been a rough year hasn’t it. Not what we planned, not what we expected. America, are you tired, emotionally spent and feeling your age?
You were birthed in conflict, a struggle to break free from your mother country across the ocean. Since that beginning, two-hundred and forty-four years ago, you have had many good years. Years of innovation, progress and prosperity. You have also had some very difficult years. Wars, division, a Great Depression, social injustice. The year 2020 will be remembered as one of your more difficult years.
Here’s the thing — from the very beginning, from the very first person who set their foot on American soil (I acknowledge the indigenous people were already here), you have been built by a line of fallible human beings. Some came full of idealism, desiring to create a utopia. In contrast, others simply came hungry for riches and power. Most everyone else who has come and gone from our shores probably falls somewhere in between. The common thread is that every single one of us, from the first settler in Jamestown, VA in 1607 to the baby that was born as you read this sentence, are all imperfect, fallible human beings. How can we expect a perfect country when it is built by imperfection?
In Spite Of It All
It’s not very popular to be patriotic right now. There are many problems in our country that need to be fixed — sooner rather than later. Even so, I am happy to be a citizen of the United States. I am happy that I can choose what I want to do, what I want to buy, how I want to live my life. I am most thankful that I live in a country where I can worship God and his son Jesus freely, without fear of being arrested or persecuted. It may not always be so, but for now it is and that brings me such peace in these turbulent times.
What brings me even more comfort is knowing that while I am a citizen of the USA here on this earth, my true citizenship is in the Kingdom of God. That, my friends, is an everlasting citizenship that will never falter or fail.
Maybe it’s a good thing that Independence Day 2020 is different. Maybe we need to slow down and think about our America — reflecting on the things that are good, focusing on the things we need to change or improve on. More importantly, maybe we need to consider where our eternal citizenship lies.
Happy Birthday America!
My prayer is that we will all be able to celebrate you properly next year.