By Kelly Carr
“I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; . . . and that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.”
Last November I witnessed something I’d never seen before—a naturalization ceremony where 60 people from 30 different countries became American citizens. I was there because my friend was among those becoming citizens. After living in the U.S. for over 20 years, she decided, for a number of reasons, to take this step.
I daresay that all Americans born in the U.S. should witness such a ceremony at some point in their lives. A lot of work and money goes into the naturalization process to gain freedoms I was born with—freedoms I often take for granted. Such an experience gave me extra pause to consider the blessings I have had all my life in this country.
We are called to serve in the places where we live. Whether you have spent time abroad, time in various regions of the U.S., or have been in your hometown all your life, God calls us to live out our faith where we dwell. If you are an American, you dwell in a place with many freedoms. Use those freedoms with humble honor to share with others the spiritual freedom God has given through his Son. “Whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do” (James 1:25).