Living near Boston has increased my patriotism. John and I have gone on nine guided Freedom Trail walks, with each one teaching me more about the events and struggles leading up to the American Revolution. People like Samuel Adams, Paul Revere, James Otis and John and Abigail Adams seem like actual friends of mine because I’ve visited some of their birth places, homes and graves.
I’ve also come to love an unknown Revolutionary War soldier buried in Quincy’s Hancock Cemetery. His headstone is broken and so badly worn that no one can read his name or his dates. The Daughters of the American Revolution have marked it as a Revolutionary War grave, but beyond that kindness the poor man lies in obscurity. Still, he’s my beloved friend who gave me the freedom to write this biog.
In short, living in this area makes it difficult to be indifferent to the cost people paid to form this nation. When I hear the familiar stories on those Freedom Trail walks or visit the burying grounds, I remember the blood that those men (some of them just boys) shed to liberate us from the tyrannical king in England. And I love America most passionately in those moments.
Thinking about the American blood spilt in the Revolutionary War makes me think of the blood Jesus shed to liberate His people from the tyranny of sin and Satan. His blood was far and away more precious than even the blood of the forgotten man under the fractured headstone in Hancock Cemetery.
As much as I appreciate the freedoms I enjoy as a United States citizen, I realize how easily those freedoms could be taken away. So I praise the Lord for making me a citizen of something more glorious and eternal than this country could ever be.
20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. ~~Philippians 3:20-21 (ESV)
As a Christian, my first allegiance is to God’s kingdom. Now, being a good citizen of heaven includes being a good citizen of whatever earthly country God has placed you in (Romans 13:1-7), and I by no means want to imply otherwise. But our earthly countries, although they are each wonderful, pale in comparison to the glorious Home that awaits us.
Yes, I value my American heritage. Every time I see those graves and recall those Freedom Trail stories, I cherish my country. But I look forward to a kingdom far more glorious, established by blood far more precious! I pray that your citizenship is also there.