I am a flag waving American. I love the national anthem, Independence Day, and the colors: red, white and blue. I am glad I was born in this country, I think this country is special and I hope (and believe) that the best is yet to come for this country. Patriotism is noble and it is a godly virtue when it is an expression of grateful affection and measured loyalty to one's own country for the glory of God.
Tomorrow is "Patriot Day." It is the tenth anniversary of September 11, 2001--the day terrorists attacked the World Trade towers and a portion of the Pentagon. Words like "evil" and "justice" were thrown around with great ease by Republicans, Democrats, atheists and religious believers. Surely, what was done was evil by evil men. This evil was graphically displayed before us on our TV screens on that day. Perfect justice is only accomplished by God, but He has ordained for earthly authorities to execute justice with careful and appropriate means. I think it can be argued that our country has sought (imperfectly) to do this.
But I want to ask, as a Christian, what is my patriotic duty as I celebrate/remember Patriot Day? I would suggest that the most patriotic thing we can do is REPENT. Repentance begins with humble confession of sin and it continues in daily surrender to God's will. It's not something we can accomplish in one day. But it starts somewhere. First, it starts when we begin to confess the sins of our own heart: idolatry (manifested in greed, envy, anxiety, lust, lack of courage, disobedience to parents, etc.), immorality, pride, unbelief and rebellion. Secondly, we must confess to God the sins of our country and plead for His forgiveness and a fresh spiritual awakening in our own hearts, in the hearts and lives of our church, other churches and in our entire country. We need to take responsibility for our sins and then for our country's by confessing it to the Lord (see Daniel 9 as an example). What should we confess? Let me name one of many "inconvenient truths" about our country. More babies are killed in this country under the "permission" of law and by the hands of American citizens every day than the number of people that were killed on September 11, 2001 (for more read here).
I love America. I pray that God would prosper and protect America. But America's greatest need is the forgiveness of sins and a new heart. What America needs is something it cannot earn or produce on its own. It needs sovereign grace and divine mercy. Thankfully, the King of the nations is up to this task. We must get down (on our knees) to the business of asking Him to give us just that.