There’s an idea about Christians in the New Testament that’s really important. Okay, there are lots of these. But this one idea—or maybe understanding is a better word—is one I suspect most of us only pay lip service to. I’m pretty sure I did, at least.
We are strangers in this world—sojourners. Temporary residents, if you will. (See 1 Peter 2:11.)
It’s funny what moving to a different country can do, huh?
Maybe it’s too soon for me to feel that way. And perhaps it is. Maybe it’s just the freshness of it all—the culture shock starting to set in a little. (Possibly.) But even in the last two weeks, I’ve been feeling the weight of this understanding differently.
Don’t get me wrong: I have rights and freedoms aplenty here. My citizenship in Canada hasn’t been voided simply by crossing the border. And sure, I speak the language and enjoy using Amazon Prime as much as anyone. But, even so, it’s different.
In my passport, I have a date after which, if I have not already been approved for an extension on my visa, I am required to return to Canada. Whether I will want to or not remains to be seen, but knowing it’s there is weird.
I’m a temporary resident.
When I watch and listen as people speak with uneasiness about the upcoming election, I feel it differently. I will live with the consequences of November’s decision just as they will, but I am not a part of the decision making process. They have a voice. I do not.
I’m a sojourner.
And in a strange way, it makes me appreciate the fact that, in one sense, I always was. From the moment Christ saved me, my citizenship changed. I was no longer simply a Canadian, but a citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven. This fallen world was no longer the land to which I truly belonged—the coming kingdom, the New Jerusalem is.
And here in a country that is not my own—one where I am more obviously a temporary resident, a sojourner, than I’ve ever been before—it’s this citizenship that I need to cling to in a new way. It was always primary. I am just more aware of it.