I started teaching a U.S. Citizenship class a few weeks ago. My students come from various countries and hope to become U.S. Citizens. It intrigues me that I could go live in another country, say France for example, live there, learn the language and culture. maybe even take a citizenship test to become a citizen, but I would never really be considered French. Yet people come from other countries and become Americans, and many experience the “American Dream”.
Whenever I go to a Citizenship ceremony, I am grateful for my friends becoming a citizen because I know what it means to them and for their lives such as being finished with immigration services, being able to register to vote, and being able to get a U.S. passport.
It also makes me think about something else. There is an eternal citizenship that is not based on knowing a language, a person’s ethnicity or race or any other consideration other than coming to know a person.
Philippians 3:20 says:
“But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ”
When we come to know Jesus, we are automatically granted citizenship in heaven. It is one of the numerous blessings Jesus pours out on those who come to know him as their Savior. At that moment, even though we are still in this life, we become aliens or strangers in this world looking forward to realizing our eternal home as we see in Hebrews 11:
“All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.”
We also become representatives of our eternal home hoping to bring others with us as we see in 2 Corinthians 5:
“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God”.
I am genuinely interested in seeing the lives of my refugee and immigrant friends improve here in America. I rejoice with them at important occasions such as when they become citizens. My hope is that by helping them achieve their dream, I also show the love of Jesus in the process and it leads to them receiving citizenship in heaven too.
Thank you for reading. God Bless. 🙂