A Kingdom View of Memorial Day

As I’ve gotten older and deeper into the kingdom of God, I’ve become more conflicted about Memorial Day.

It is not the acceptance or sometimes glorification of war we see on Memorial Day; In a fallen world war is sometimes necessary, and once one accepts that boundaries will be crossed. That is to be expected.

What has bothered me more is the hyper nationalism Memorial Day seems to inspire, particularly in Evangelical Christians. I wonder what my foreign brothers and sisters living here think when they witness it? I wonder what the Lord thinks.

Anytime we are tempted to elevate cause or country over the Kingdom we should be concerned. The savior of the world is not the United States of America but King Jesus, and the answer to the world’s problems is not democracy or a republican form of government but the Gospel.

Instead we should consider the Lord’s instructions to those living in exile in Jerusalem:

“Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfare.”

Jeremiah 29:7.

While it may not be perfectly analogous, in a sense, until the kingdom of God fully manifests on earth we are all living in exile. The Lord’s instruction strikes a good balance between apathy and jingoism.

We should seek the welfare of the city in which we find ourselves, and pray for it, but we should recognize that our identity does not arise out of the country in which we live but the kingdom of God. It is that kingdom that will prevail on the earth, not the U.S.A. GS

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