After the Parade Is Over . . . (a Post-July 4th Reflection)

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It is very early on the morning of the 4th of July. By the time most of you are reading this, it’s days after the celebration of our independence has passed.


Sitting here, before the sun is up, I’m thinking, “What makes a country truly great?”


  • Is it our size or our abundant natural resources?


  • Are we great because we are powerful and mighty?


  • And does our greatness mean that God loves us more than others? (By the way, the answer to this one is “No.”)




Please read the next line very carefully because I have no desire to “go political” in this blog.


Jesus was not a politician. He didn’t have a political agenda, and neither do I. So, as a Christ-follower, and even though I love my country, my first and highest allegiance is not to any flag, but to the cross.


Frankly, I don’t care where you land on the political spectrum. It doesn’t matter to me whether you’re a Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, or Independent. We all are Americans, but above all, we are humans created in the image of God. It’s good to remember that reality on a regular basis.



Listen, I am grateful to be an American, and I truly do love our country, but I don’t ever get to choose whom I will love based on what they believe. Whether you’re on the far right or left, and regardless of whom you voted for or what your particular political views might be, I get to love you and serve you as Jesus does.


All of that being said, there’s essentially only one thing I’m highlighting in this post: America has been blessed to be a blessing.


If you are a Christ-follower, please remember that regardless of your political bent, you are commanded to love (i.e., it’s not just a good idea or a suggestion by Jesus, it’s a requirement). And the best way you can demonstrate your love is to lay down your life through selfless and sacrificial service to others. According to Jesus, the path to true greatness is the way of a servant.


For the record, God is especially fond of the poor.



America is never more like Jesus than when we care for the displaced, the disenfranchised, the defeated, and the destitute.


I have two African grandchildren, who came to this country as refugees. Every time I’m with them—yes, every time—I am reminded they are a part of my family now and of this great country because my kids opened their door and welcomed them into their hearts and into their home.


Anybody remember the inscription on the Statue of Liberty? It’s a sonnet written in 1883 by the American poet Emma Lazarus.


“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”


Sounds a lot like Jesus to me.


We are blessed to be a blessing.



“Here’s the way I work,

I’m going to make you into a great nation,

and I will abundantly bless you,

but being ‘great’ is not the end-game goal.

The purpose of my blessing on you is to make you a blessing to others.” *

Genesis 12:2 (Bubna Paraphrase)



* I fully realize that this promise was given to Abraham. However, an insight into God’s heart and intent for all His people (including us) is clearly taught here. He blesses a man or a nation not just to bless an individual or a country but for the benefit of others.

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8 thoughts on “After the Parade Is Over . . . (a Post-July 4th Reflection)

  1. Thank you for these words. I always struggle to explain my viewpoints. You reminded me that I need to just point out that I follow Jesus lead. Your statements, “I don’t ever get to choose whom I will love based on what they believe.” “I get to love you and serve you as Jesus does,” reminds me that it is through love and service that we bring others to Jesus or bring them back.

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