Happy Canada Day! I for one am proud to be able to say that I am Canadian! I’m not sure what plans you have for this Canada Day, however I think taking a few minutes to think about citizenship is well worth your time. What does citizenship really mean? While this list is far from exhaustive, and these thoughts are far from new, by God’s grace hopefully this will be of benefit to all who read it this Canada day. I believe citizenship includes, at least, the three following things: identity, security and community. What I would like to consider is how that while citizenship on earth may provide these things, it cannot compare with citizenship in heaven.
Citizenship gives us an identity. I am Canadian. Incidentally, the world cup happens to be on right now. A quick look around can show you the identity that people derive from their nationality. Those who walk the streets with their team colours, drive with their country’s flag, and cheer/cry about their country’s games, show that their identity is found in their nationality, or citizenship. The apostle Paul reminds us that ultimately, our identity is found not here but in Heaven. While I am a proud citizen of Canada, that is nothing compared to the identity found in being a citizen of heaven. I’ll leave you to think of all the ways that it is superior (duration, power, privilege etc.) but I will challenge you with this. Are you a proud citizen of Heaven? Or if you’re honest is it easier to say you’re Canadian, than to say you’re a Christian?
There is some form of security in being a Canadian citizen. If you’ve ever travelled out of the country you know the feeling of landing in the airplane, or driving up to the border, and knowing that you are arriving at home. In fact, you’ve got a passport to prove that you belong here. Even within Canada we should be grateful for the security and the comfort that we enjoy. Yet our citizenship in Heaven is not only more secure, but offers more security. It is secure because it was bought with the Lord Jesus’ blood. It offers security because he not only saved us, but he is keeping us. Although Canada is great, it will not last forever. Yet the Lord Jesus’ will reign for ever, and our citizenship will never expire. There is nothing as secure as knowing that heaven is my home, my citizenship there is as secure today as it will ever be!
One of the greatest things about citizenship is community. Being a citizen of Canada creates a common bond between all those who are privileged to call this land home. It is always enjoyable when travelling to meet a fellow Canadian. I personally enjoy the olympics when it seems as though the whole country comes together to cheer on our athletes, and to celebrate our successes. Yet the best of relationships that come as a result of being Canadian can not compare with the relationships that come from a citizenship in Heaven. I’m not just referring to the joy of meeting another Christian at an airport. Rather, I have in mind the awesome reality that as a result of our citizenship in Heaven, we are familiar with the very King. While I know of Stephen Harper, I certainly do not know him. Yet as a citizen of Heaven, I have been brought into relationship with the very King, Jesus Christ himself. The relationships, the community into which our citizenship brings us is incomparable.
So this Canada day I hope you are thankful for our country. I hope that you have an enjoyable and a restful day off. But above all I hope you take time to consider where you’re real citizenship lies. Perhaps to help get your thoughts rolling think of what your citizenship cost, both to you and to others. You could also think of the responsibilities it brings, and the privileges it entails. Don’t let the feeble attempt at writing about it here hinder your thoughts. Rather let your mind flow, let your heart be filled, and marvel at the wonder that by faith in Jesus Christ you have been made a citizen of Heaven!