‘Tis July 1, which means today is Canada Day — or, as it was called when I was growing up, “Dominion Day” or “Confederation Day”: the anniversary of the birth of this country.
There are those who would quibble that this really isn’t Canada’s “birthday”, since not all ten provinces joined Confederation at once — BC was in 1871, Manitoba in 1870, Saskatchewan in 1905, Newfoundland and Labrador didn’t join until 1949 (the bad joke is that that’s why it’s always half an hour later in Newfoundland).
To the quibblers, I say “you need to get out more often”. (Besides, the Fourth of July is only the USA’s “birthday” for 13 of the 50 states, yet the whooping-it-up goes from Calais ME, to San Ysidro CA and from Key West FL, to Unalaska, AK.)
One of the things I’m grateful for in this country is the fact that, despite the best efforts of some politicians, activists and assorted social engineers to secularize the country, God is still very much a part of our national institutions.
References to God are embedded in Canada’s official symbols. You’ll find them in the national anthem: the English version says “God keep our land glorious and free”, and the original French version refers to our country’s ability to carry the Cross as well as the sword.
The preamble to the Canadian Constitution refers to the supremacy of God. The original name of Canada was “Dominion of Canada” — a reference to Psalm 72, in which verse 8 says, “He shall have dominion from sea to sea”. Some people misinterpret “dominion” as meaning “domination” (and there are those that just plain don’t like the idea of God having dominion over anything), but the Coat of Arms, above, bears the motto, “A mari usque ad mare” — “from sea even unto sea”.
And look at that Coat of Arms: what’s over everything? The Crown, yes, but what’s on top of the Crown, above all else? The Cross.
I believe it’s because God is still a part of these important national institutions that our country is one of the most peaceable in the world — in fact, I can’t think of one more blessed with peace, freedom and prosperity. Canada has not lost a war or suffered a major terrorist attack, and still produces enough food for all.
Do we want to mess with that blessing, either by ignoring or removing God from the institutions, or by using that blessing in a way that goes against His Word?
Yes, Canada has some social issues: some of which are “manufactured” — the result of living in a comfortable state of blessing, where some people lose sight of the Source of that blessing; but there are real issues, like the ongoing legacy of the treatment of First Nations. But reconciliation efforts have come a long way and tangible progress is being made. We also have an innate leaning towards making peace in the world and welcoming strangers — because we and/or our ancestors were also strangers in a strange land at one time. (Exodus 22:21, 23:9)
(With a federal election coming up, take a good, hard look at the politicians and the people who have hitched their wagons to them: beware of those who try to divide by taking a populist, but unholy stand.)
Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing, some have unwittingly entertained angels.
— Hebrews 13:2
This July 1, let’s remember that every time we sing, “God keep our land glorious and free”, He hears us … and He does.