This Monday is Memorial Day. A few Sunday’s ago it was Mother’s Day and in a few more weeks it will be Father’s Day. These are good days. It is good to celebrate a godly mother and a godly father and to remember the godly men and women who laid down their lives for the freedom of others. I send cards and give gifts to my mother and father on their respective holidays; I have the flag flying by my front door. It is fine to celebrate these holidays, but as your Pastor, I must evaluate what is appropriate for corporate worship. The first line of our church’s mission statement says: “We exist to exalt Jesus Christ.” That is the most important item to consider when it comes to corporate worship; we are gathered to exalt Jesus. When we worship together corporately, it should reflect the ongoing worship taking place in heaven around the throne of God as closely as possible. Let’s be honest, citizens of these United States who have died in Jesus Christ and are in heaven now are not singing about America. They are singing praises to God! Does that mean that we should not sing patriotic songs? No. The question is: “When is it appropriate?” As a local body of Christ, His bride, the church, we have a limited amount of time together on the Lord’s Day. Sure, it would be nice to do all kinds of different things, but for that one hour a week we should be focused solely on Jesus Christ. We should also bear in mind that God’s people are not tied to any one specific nation. As followers of Jesus Christ, we must remember that we have fellow citizens (in Christ) in many other nations. How we think, speak and act in light of this truth is not something that we can separate from our day to day life. We should filter everything through the lens of the Bible. As a Christian who was born in America, I am thankful that the gospel was freely preached and that I could freely respond. I am also thankful for those who were persecuted for the sake of Christ, who endured suffering and even death so that the message of the gospel of Christ could come to this land nearly 400 years ago. But I am even more thankful for my citizenship in a kingdom untainted by sin and the political schemes of man—a perfect place called Heaven.
-Pastor Corey Mitchell