I love the patriotic worship service we have at FBC O’Fallon, IL each 4th of July weekend. It is exciting, moving and fun.
Once in a while, I read others who complain about churches having a patriotic service. They remind us of the dangers of patriotism replacing worship and zeal for the nation replacing zeal for the Lord. Duly noted.
But I do believe we can keep a proper perspective of the role of God and country. The first point of my sermon on Sunday was “We have earthly responsibilities but a greater allegiance.” (I preached from the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego from Daniel 3 and the greater allegiance referred to the Lord, not D.C. My wife says it was the greatest sermon preached in the history of Christendom- but
she says that every week. I sometimes wonder if she could be biased. Hmmm….)
Here are three great things we do at our patriotic service.
1. We pray for our nation. That is the greatest thing we can do for our land and we can pray- seriously pray- for our nation, our leaders and our opportunities. I like prayer. Apparently, God does too.
2. We thank those who have served in the military. We are near Scott AFB and have hundreds of military types in our church. We got to say “thank you” to all those who serve. There were at least 5 WWII vets at the service and we got to thank them. That was awesome. Remember, freedom comes because military folks are willing to do hard things in hard places.
3. We remind ourselves of the Source of true freedom. The freedom we enjoy in America (and few in our world have known the degree of freedom we have in our nation) is but a shadow of the greater freedom we can have in the Lord Jesus Christ. I always have a chance to point people in our worship service to the eternal freedom that can be ours.
I know our country isn’t perfect. But I am very grateful for this great gift God has given us and the world- the United States of America.