I spent several hours this week working on a Powerpoint presentation for our pastor’s message today. In keeping with the Fourth of July, he is speaking on “The Greatest Freedom of All.” He wanted a patriotic picture for the title slide. I searched for something that would be appropriate and came upon one that was both impressive and, more importantly, conveyed the message celebrating freedom. The picture was a close-up of the Statue of Liberty, with fireworks behind her lighting the night sky. As I looked at his outline, and worked on the Powerpoint, I couldn’t help thinking of a song I first heard thirty years ago, and wishing someone could sing it in conjunction with his message. Perhaps you remember it:

Statue of Liberty

In New York Harbor stands a lady

With a torch raised to the sky;

And all who see her know she stands for

Liberty for you and me

I’m so proud to be an American,

To be named with the brave and the free.

I will honor the flag and our trust in God,

And the Statue of Liberty.

On lonely Golgotha stood a cross,

With my Lord raised to the sky;

And all who kneel there live forever,

As all the saved can testify.

I’m so glad to be called a Christian,

To be named with the ransomed and whole.

As the Statue liberates the citizen,

So the Cross liberates the soul.

Oh, the Cross is my Statue of Liberty,

It was there that my soul was set free.

Unashamed I’ll proclaim that a rugged cross

Is my Statue of Liberty.

© Words & Music by Neil Enloe

Proud to be called an American. In this house we are Red, White and True Patriots – yes, sir! Our flag flies every day from spring until winter. Americana t-shirts are the favorite everyday garb for Bob and Robbie. The political talking heads are on our television most nights, and Bob loves to talk politics. To this day, although he knows his steps were ordered by the Lord in a different direction, he still talks about how he would have loved to have gone into the military.

He received a gift on Father’s Day from Julie and David that was right up his alley and will always be something very special to him. David sent him an American flag from Iraq that was flown over one of Sadaam Hussein’s palaces in Baghdad. Wow – you couldn’t have pleased Bob more!

We love our country, our flag, our great American pioneer heritage. We’re proud of our motto “In God We Trust;” proud to recite the Pledge of Allegiance; proud whenever we sing The Star-Spangled Banner. We still think we live in the greatest country in the world – or in the history of the world. Americans are the most generous people in the world and the most willing to defend and help those in need. We are thankful for all with which God has blessed us in this country – for our freedoms, and our opportunities, our prosperity and our beautiful land.

Our hearts are heavy when we see some of our cherished values and freedoms being eroded away and the path our country is on leading away from the traditional truths of our past and the godly principles upon which our nation was founded. We are saddened when we see the moral fiber of our people wearing thin. We are sickened at the horrible destruction in the Gulf, one of our country’s most beautiful resources. We pray daily for our land and its healing – spiritually, politically and physically.

Yes, we are proud to be citizens of the United States of America. Our son-in-law Fernando became a citizen of this country a couple years ago, and he and all of his children hold dual citizenship in both the US and Ecuador. I, too, hold dual citizenship. As much as I hold dear my US Passport that proclaims to all the world that I am a US citizen, with all the authority, rights and protection of the US government behind me, I treasure my other citizenship far more.

The Bible tells us that as followers of Christ our citizenship is in Heaven. Philippians 3:20 says, “For our citizenship is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:” I am proud to be called an American. I am prouder still to bear His name – a Christian. As an American I love our motto “In God We Trust.” As a Christian I live by the motto, “In God I Trust.” I proudly say the Pledge. I am humbly grateful for His Promises. I love to sing The Star-Spangled Banner. It brings tears to my eyes to sing The Old Rugged Cross. We thrill to all the beauty of our land’s natural resources and bounty. We cannot even begin to imagine the beauty of our Heavenly homeland someday. We honor those who have shed their blood to insure the freedoms of our country. We love and serve and worship the One who shed His blood for our freedom from the power and penalty of sin.

In New York harbor stands the symbol of our freedom – the Statue of Liberty. On Golgatha’s hill stood a cross that symbolizes true and eternal freedom. May we always be proud and grateful to wear the name American, which was bought with a price so dear. And may we who bear His name – Christian – be ever thankful, ever unashamed, ever bold and strong to stand proudly for the cross and the Savior who paid the most precious, sacrificial price of all, His blood, for our salvation.