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a fourth of july poem

these are pictures from a fourth of july parade we attended this year in osceola mills, pennsylvania. i know it isn't exactly the midwest, but as i sat there and watched the flag decals and tattoos go by on fire trucks and harleys and go-carts, i couldn't help but feel i was somewhere in the middle of america, on this, the most american of days. someone had mentioned that americans aren't as patriotic as they once were. that might be true, but it certainly didn't feel like it on this day. beauty queens and bumper stickers all shouted out in red, white and blue firecracker boom: we are america! God bless us!

i, for one, did some reflecting around God's kingdom and the "kingdom" of america. i understand that the u.s. is not a kingdom, per se, but it certainly is a political and economic system. i am currently reading shane claiborne's "jesus for president," and am really thinking about the politics of Christ. more on this as i get through the book. but the fourth of july, for me, was a time to:

-eat 6 johnsonville brats. that's right: 6.
-play with nieces and nephews and 2nd cousins once removed
-take too many digital pictures
-walk through shannon's aunt and uncle's screen door (ouch)
-watch fireworks from the knee-high weeds on the side of the interstate near state college
-experience heartburn from the brats.
-experience extreme exhaustion from playing with the children
-and, after all this, reflect a bit on empire and the coming Kingdom that we pray for all the time. and so i wrote this poem...

4th of july, 2008

its the you i want,
the unfurled colors of your
the empire will crumble around us,
with tattered flags
and the red glare of
volcanic greed.
its your coming kingdom
i celebrate,
i proudly hail-
the marginal grace
unbelievable freedom.
it is this i wait for, this
i salute, this i pray for,
i celebrate.


Redbank Billy said…
Wow!!! I don't know why, but that poem said alot to me!! can you believe that......
Emoly said…
My experience with the parade I watched was highly emotional as the Veterans and current service members went by. I don't know if this happens all over the country, but here everyone stood and applauded them as they rode, walked or otherwise went by.

We were at the bottom of a hill and as the parade went up the hill it curved around a bend. The sight was spectacular!

So I don't know who says we're less patriotic, but I feel that after 9/11 we have become more patriotic, but that's just my opinion... :)
Joel said…
i read shane claibornes irresistible revolution. it was refreshing to find a kindred spirit out there. he has a little blurb about word made flesh in both books, i think. check out a discussion with him, chuck colson and gregory myers i think on the speaking of faith npr show. you would like the gregory myers book too, the myth of a christian nation.

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