07.09.11

God and Country

Posted in home service, kids at 12:53 pm

I’ve always known that my kids are a crazy mix of American and Italian. There are parts of them that fit in perfectly with their Italian friends and classmates, and there are other parts that fit right in when we return to the US.

This was really driven home to me last Sunday in church. During the prayer time, the man who led the prayer listed the soldiers to pray for and mentioned the care packages that would be sent to them. No matter what a person’s opinion about the war, praying for the safety of the soldiers overseas is a good thing. Then the man leading prayer talked about how glad he was to live in the “best country in the world” and how blessed we are to be in this country. It was the Sunday before Independence Day, so patriotism was high.

After church, my kids brought up the man’s prayer time, and how he said the US was the best country in the world. They told me that they didn’t think Italians would say the US is the best country in the world, and asked us why he would say something like that in a prayer time. It showed me how much my kids really do see things from a broader perspective. The world to them, as well as God’s Kingdom, is bigger than whatever country they happen to find themselves in.

The man’s prayer time, while certainly well-intentioned, pointed out a danger for mixing patriotism and faithfulness as a Christian. We may be Americans or Italians or South Sudanese, but our real citizenship is heaven.