I was born in India to Armenian parents and spent some of my younger years in England before moving to Australia with my parents.
Years later, I was excited when my husband Edmond, a U.S. American citizen, received his Australian citizenship. We attended the ceremony that was held in a large hall of the Council office presided over by the mayor.
The candidates all stood on the podium while I stood watching with my three-year-old Katie standing on the chair next to me. She was so excited to see her daddy and waved to him. The music started playing and everyone stood to sing the national anthem, “Australia all let us rejoice for we are young and free …” Suddenly, I heard a little voice beside me singing. Katie, maybe thinking she was in church with everyone dressed in suits, started singing with gusto, in tune and on key, “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so …”
The two songs blended so well, and people were smiling at Katie. As the anthem continued, “In history’s page, let every stage, Advance Australia Fair,” could be heard,
“Yes Jesus loves me, the Bible tells me so.”
After the ceremony we met the mayor and found out that he had grandchildren Katie’s age. The mayor took the medallion from around his neck and placed it around Katie’s. She was all smiles and so happy. I will always remember this event with great joy.
My little Katie, so innocent and unashamed to praise Jesus.
“And Jesus called a little child unto Him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:2, 3).
Sixteen years later it was I who stood before the citizenship officials to obtain my American citizenship. With all the candidates, I placed my hand over my heart while the national anthem started to play. I had heard the Stars and Stripes anthem so many times since living in this country, but that day it was different. Tears welled up in my eyes as I felt such joy, ownership and belonging. I was now accepted into the same citizenship of my family and felt a belonging as never before.
Very soon, Jesus will come to take His children home. The pearly gates will open and we will hear His welcoming words, “Come, ye blessed of My Father” (Matthew 25:34). The national anthem of the redeemed will play and we will sing in melodious tones the song of “Moses and the Lamb.” I have tasted the joy of being welcomed into a new society, but that is nothing compared to the joy the saints will experience when entering at last into the kingdom of heaven where the redeemed will be happier than they have ever imagined.
Oh friend, how wonderful Heaven will be. Let us live to be a blessing to others. After all, very soon our citizenship of Heaven will be a reality.