Jun 25, 2021
(Mike Schrage’s son and his family: Hudson, Holly, and Kyle in 2020)
As American missionaries in Kenya from 1984 to 2003, US Independence Day celebrations differed greatly from what most of you experience or how our own families used to observe the day. It was a normal working day for most Kenyans, so we worked alongside them. Finding hotdogs was a challenge, shooting fireworks was illegal, and watching a baseball game on television was nearly impossible! Yet, it was a special day to celebrate our heritage, and we didn’t want to miss out.
It’s helpful to reflect on our Christian heritage as well. Dr. Tony Evans compared Christians to referees on a football team, “They know they may be booed by angry parties on both teams, but they understand that they are not meant to be liked and seek to abide by the rulebook that dictates the game.” He added, “Our true calling is not to be part-time saints, but full-time Christians, pulling down to earth as true reflections of the imago Dei.”
I appreciate our founding fathers' all-in approach—ingrained in us so strongly that we celebrated it on foreign soil. Even more so, I appreciate the all-in approach of Jesus when going to the cross and praying, “not my will but yours.” Earth is foreign soil for us, as it was for Jesus. The willingness of Jesus to surrender his life yielded unmerited freedom and grace for generations to come, cascading even to me. That’s freedom worth celebrating!