This is an updated version of my Canada Day post from two years ago.
Yesterday was Canada Day. Thousands gathered in our city to watch the Canada Day parade. Red shirts and maple leaf insignia were worn and flags were waved. This is one way of showing our patriotism.
Festivities in honour of Canada’s birthday took place all across our vast nation. In our city and many others, the celebrations concluded with spectacular fireworks displays. These events enable us to come together and celebrate our citizenship in what we believe is one of the best countries in the world.
Across the world citizens of Canada have a reputation for being polite. Kindness and care for others is also an attribute of those with a heavenly citizenship.
A friend once told me that we often go through life like tourists. We gather souvenirs and mementos from places we’ve been and people we’ve met. What we are called to do as citizens of heaven is to leave little pieces of heaven wherever we go. Doesn’t that sound wonderful?
No matter what country we live in, we are also citizens of heaven. One day we will all be reunited with our Lord, Jesus Christ. No citizenship can be better and that alone is a reason for celebration.
But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ (Philippians 3:20 NIV)
As we approach Canada Day and the 150th birthday of our country, I decided to take a closer look at our national anthem and how it applies to my life.
“O Canada, our home and native land.” Canada is home to over thirty-six million people. More than 20% of these were not born in this country. Ours is a nation known for welcoming people from other lands.
In my everyday life, I can learn from this example and be warm and welcoming to everyone, not just those with common experiences. Diversity makes life more interesting.
“True patriot love.” This applies to love for our country. To me, this means to be proud of Canada and all it has to offer. Our standard of living is one many areas of the world would love to experience. I am grateful to live here.
Do I appreciate the opportunities that are present in my life or do I grumble and complain about little things that inconvenience me? The many positives far outweigh the few negatives.
“True north strong and free.” Our country offers us freedom of speech, freedom of religion and many other freedoms that are denied in other parts of the world. I never want to take these for granted.
Do I appreciate the freedoms in my life or just think of them as my right? Maybe I deny myself freedom. When I look at mistakes I’ve made in the past and decide not to risk loving others, believing in myself or having dreams for the future, I am locking myself in a self-imposed prison. This denies me the life that true freedom offers.
The word freedom also reminds me to be open and accepting of positions that are different from my own. It’s not up to me to judge anyone else based on their beliefs
“We stand on guard for thee.” As Canadians, we may be called upon to defend our country and all it stands for. I don’t have to be in the military or law enforcement to do this. I can guard its reputation by the words I speak.
O Canada was written over one hundred years ago, but its message is still relevant to my life today.
Some campgrounds have interesting traditions. The one we stay in holds a Canada Day parade the Saturday before July 1st.
Family friendly is a good description of this event. Everyone was encouraged to decorate their sites. Canadian flags and banners were hung. Red and white in the form of streamers and balloons were seen in abundance. We even hung a Canadian flag Frisbee in our tree!
A big red fire truck decorated with Canadian flags led the parade. Behind the truck was where the real fun started. Children rode decorated bicycles; drove battery operated cars and waved flags as they walked the parade route through the campground. Parents walked along with them.
Those deciding not to enter the parade sat in lawn chairs to watch the procession. The lucky ones were able to gather some of the candy that was tossed out to the spectators.
In a matter of minutes the parade had passed. What lingered was the joy of seeing families participating together in this event.
If this simple celebration could foster such a spirit of co-operation and joy, imagine a world where families, friends and neighbours joined together to celebrate and share the love of Jesus. That kind of contagious joy could change the world!
Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good; celebrate his lovely name with music. (Psalm 135:3 NLT)
And all the people followed Solomon into Jerusalem, playing flutes and shouting for joy. The celebration was so joyous and noisy that the earth shook with the sound. (1 Kings 1:40 NLT)