Thursday, December 19, 2019


Where is our citizenship?

When I was a young man, I wanted to be a cosmopolitan "citizen of the world."  I'd travel everywhere and live local, eschew nationalism, etc.  Then I lived abroad for a bit, and I realized just how much I appreciate the homeland of my birth.  I returned just when the "And I'm proud to be an American" anthem was popular, and I was able to sing along!

Also, I love my US passport.  My US passport isn't a free ticket to allow me to commit crimes abroad, but it does give me a comfortable feeling when I'm in a country whose people are oppressed by their government.  I have a sense of immunity.  I can also share in the brotherhood of the expat communities wherever I go, because of my American citizenship.

Now, the Bible tells us that our REAL citizenship is in heaven. ( What does that mean, as I apply it to life?

For me, it means that the customs of the place where I'm living don't have to be mine; it's okay for me to be an outsider. 

I visualize carrying an invisible passport that offers me protection from the oppression of the lands I'm "temporarily" living in.  My heavenly passport allows me to mentally break free from the trap of viewing this life as permanent ... I recognize that I'm a sojourner here on earth.  A tourist/traveler.

My sense of the brotherhood of the saints increases when I travel outside of the US.  I actually sense that each church building I see is an embassy or consulate office of sorts.  I don't mean the cathedrals, necessarily, though I've learned not to judge a church by its building.  And I know that when I enter a city I can find out where the expats congregate, and then by asking some questions I can find Brothers and Sisters among them, introduce myself, and find a loving welcome.

The trick is to keep heavenly citizenship in my mind when I'm in the land of my political citizenship.  It's more difficult, here at home.  I am a sojourner, this world is not my home.

New Living Translation
For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.

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