This land known as Canada has always been a sacred place. Our country’s indigenous peoples know that it is a gift from the Creator. It provides us with food, medicine, and what we need for shelter. Who else but God could create waters teeming with fish; forests, plains and tundra with plentiful wildlife; mighty rivers and awe-inspiring mountains? We see the beauty of this land, and something deep in our hearts understands that it is God’s gift to us.
Canada is not just about land. It is also about people – people who live together and share common ways of life. Our reading from the prophet Isaiah tells us that it is God who created this land, who gives us our breath, and gives us His spirit to walk in His righteousness. God calls us to be His witnesses: to worship Him in love, to reach out to those in need, to share our food with the hungry, to visit the sick and imprisoned, to welcome the stranger, to work for peace and clothe the naked. As God’s witnesses, we are called to honour our elders, our parents, and all those who teach us to walk in God’s righteousness.
In God’s eyes, our greatness as a nation comes from living as His witnesses. Jesus gives us the strength to live this way – to become all that God calls us to be. He calls us from many cultures and nationalities. He inspires and raises up Godly people to shine with His light in our families, in our communities, in the Church and in our schools – to lead us by example.
The light of Jesus shines in our witness. It makes us a light for one another, and a light to the nations. The light of Jesus, shining in our witness opens the eyes of those who are blinded by injustice; it shines on those who sit in the darkness without hope, on those hungering for a home, for friendship, for safety, for food, for love. As we prepare to celebrate 150 years of Canadian nationhood, let us give thanks to God for this great land. Let us give God thanks for the people who first welcomed our ancestors and families. Let us give God thanks for the faith-filled people in our lives who shine with Christ’s life.
Let us give thanks for the Godly women and men in our history who worked to build a just and free society for all who call Canada home. Let us invite Jesus into our hearts to shine in us, that we might continue building what God began in their hearts and lives.
Courtesy Tony Cosentino, Religious Education & Family Life Resource Teacher, Renfrew County CDSB