What comes to mind when I mention the word “patriot”? No, not the New England football team (although I’m sure some people went there). Several years ago, Hollywood released an action film set in the American Revolution that bore the title Patriot, which is closer to what I have in mind. But what is it that hits your mind’s eye at the thought of patriot or patriotism?

Perhaps it is the image of one of our forefathers bending over the freshly written Constitution, plumed pen in hand, ready to sign. Maybe George Washington crossing the Delaware River as we have seen in a painting. You might even think of a military veteran who embodies the image of America. Some will think of Old Glory flying high and waving in the breeze.

Does the word patriot ever bring to mind church? Does it have a place there? I am aware that we come to church to worship God, Who transcends national boundaries. But I am also sure that He designed us to be part of the nation we were born to. To be part of her growing, her activity, and her welfare. He desires us to be patriotic insofar as such patriotism does not take His place at the forefront of our lives.

Yes, I am a citizen of a Kingdom yet to be fully realized, but I am also part of my native land. So when the flag is carried at the front of the parade, I’ll stand tall with my hand over my heart in salute. When the National Anthem is played, I will stand and sing out. And I will also, when my Savior is mentioned, speak out boldly in His behalf, honoring Him with my words and my actions. And so I will be the Patriot God has created and called me to be.

Happy Birthday, USA!

“First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all those who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.”  —1 Timothy 2:1-2