Happy 4th of July to all of you in the USA! As Americans in another country, we aren’t going to be attending any fireworks tonight, nor will we have a barbeque or family picnic. But we felt like we should, in some way be patriotic (like wearing red and blue and playing Boggle in which “patriotic” words get bonus points) because we have been thinking about the things we appreciate about the USA. Now of course, as Christians, we don’t want to go overboard in our patriotism since we know that our loyalty is to God above all else and that God does not have a favorite country. Our citizenship is in heaven and only after that can we begin to think of ourselves as Americans.
However, we do want to appreciate the freedoms that we have as Americans, which we often take for granted. We are able to participate in free and fair elections in which we aren’t threatened by armed troops to vote for a particular candidate. We are free to worship openly without fear. There is freedom to give our opinions about the government and all areas of life and for all sides of the political spectrum to exist. So despite all of the shortcomings of the USA, there are many things to be thankful about. We have felt this in a new way this year by being in a different country and we don’t want to take such things for granted anymore. We have discovered how our American culture has, in some good ways (we realize that there are also bad ways) affected the way that we view the world and treat people who are different from us.