Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Citizenship Matters

I am continuing to read through the book of Acts and rediscovering passages which send me thinking for a while. Today was the passage where Paul and Silas are in the inner dungeon, in chains, praying and singing songs to God. For some reason that is not what sent me thinking. What got me going was later in the story when Paul and Silas are told by the guards they are free to go, and Paul replies I think not. The reason for Paul's objection to being let go quietly, his citizenship. Paul and Silas are Roman citizens. They were beaten and imprisoned without a trial, well outside of the rights of a Roman citizen.

Paul could have gone off about the work ahead of him with out further incident, but he couldn't there was a justice issue to be addressed. Paul's citizenship gave him the unique responsibility to address what was happening to many others. I wonder how often we disregard the responsibilities which come with being an earthly citizen of the United States, and eternal citizens of the Kingdom of God? Our citizenship in the USA, affords us the opportunity to speak out against injustice, oppression and any other form of devaluing a human being. Our citizenship as children of God gives us the responsibility to do so.

Our heavenly citizenship is not so we can merely celebrate being 'saved'. Rather it allows us to be connected with God to continue the work of God since creation. What is that work? To draw all men and women into close relationship with Him. To help all people know their true and deep value to God in more than words, but with actions consistent with the call of God.

Are we using our citizenship to the fullest?

No comments: