Today we link to a great article on a blog written by a good friend of NHOP’s here in Ottawa – Peter Hartgerink.
Yesterday was Canada Day. As I was out walking the dog, a young man on the street wished me a Happy Canada Day. I returned the greeting, of course, but it got me thinking. What is Canada Day really all about? Later on that day, we watched the festivities on Parliament Hill from the comfort of our living room, on high definition TV. I was particularly struck by the words of the song Today I’m Going to Try and Change the World, by Scottish-born country singer Johnny Reid, whose family immigrated to Canada when he was fifteen years old. His song spoke about the impact of daily choices on those around us, and I found it inspiring. That evening, Marion and I went to sit by the Ottawa River in our favourite spot for viewing the fireworks on Parliament Hill. The atmosphere on the streets was that of a gigantic party. People were calling “Happy Canada Day” to each other. We enjoyed the festive atmosphere, but I couldn’t help wondering what those words really meant to the revellers. Is Canada Day just an excuse for a good party, or is it more than that? On Canada Day, Canadians are passionate about their country – but what about the rest of the time? Do we exhibit the true patriot love of which our national anthem speaks?
The founders of our nation gave Canada its name – the Dominion of Canada – based on a promise from God which is inscribed on the stones of our Parliament Buildings. Indeed, the Scriptures tell us that not only Israel, but every nation on earth – including Canada – has been allotted its land by God, and has a specific purpose in God’s plan for the world. Christians ought to be enthusiastic patriots, like singer Johnny Reid – people who are passionate about making our country a better place and seeing it fulfil its God-given destiny. Yet I find that many Canadians – including Christians – often display a cynical, negative attitude towards our country and its government, and it’s all too easy to let ourselves be subtly influenced by this prevailing negativity. I find that I have to remind myself regularly of the Scriptural admonitions to honour and pray for our nation’s leaders, and to seek the well-being of the land in which God has placed me.