Dear pastors, missionaries, chaplains and friends,
Steve here… Canada Day is this week. Hopefully sometime this week you will sing our National Anthem.
I thought I’d throw out some Canadian trivia as we thank God for our country.
When Did “O Canada” Become our National Anthem?
“O Canada” was proclaimed Canada’s national anthem on July 1, 1980, 100 years after it was first sung on June 24, 1880. The music was composed by Calixa Lavallee, a well-known composer; French lyrics to accompany the music were written by Sir Adolphe-Basile Routhier. The song gained steadily in popularity. Many English versions have appeared over the years. The version on which the official English lyrics are based was written in 1908 by Mr. Justice Robert Standly Weir. The official English version includes changes recommended in 1968 by a Special Joint Committee of the Senate and House of Commons. The French Lyrics remain unaltered.
The Lyrics Get it Right
The English lyrics to our national anthem include these words:
“God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
“Ruler supreme, who hears our humble prayer,
Hold our Dominion in thy loving care.
Help us to find, O God, in Thee,
A lasting rich reward.
As waiting for the better day,
We ever stand on guard.”
The French lyrics to our national anthem get even more specific:
“O Canada! Land of our forefathers
Thy brow is wreathed with a glorious garland of flowers.
As in they arm ready to wield the sword,
So also is it ready to carry the CROSS.
Thy history is an epic of the most brilliant exploits.
Thy valour steeped in FAITH
Will protect our homes and our rights.”
At the Root of our Heritage
Canada is free, democratic and a great place to live — not because of our vast geography and topography, although there is much beauty. Canada is the envy of the world, with millions who want to live here, not because of our amazing weather conditions.
The reason we have the freedom and rights we do is because of our spiritual foundation, and that foundation is Christ.
I’m not espousing the erroneous thinking that Canada is, ever was, or ever will be a “Christian” nation, but it is a fact that our forefathers had “… a transcendent vision of life based on Christian revelation, which gave vital impetus to [our] development as a free, democratic and caring society recognized throughout the world as a champion of human rights and human dignity” (Pope John Paul II in Toronto, July 2002).
On this one, I believe Pope John Paul got it right. There are very few, if any, countries in the world that people want to immigrate to that do not have the same Christian foundations that Canada began with.
The one common denominator is Christ. How many people are risking their lives to emigrate to Iraq, Syria, Sudan, or even China?
Pray for Canada
We need to keep praying for our great country, that it would become humble and surrendered to the Lord Jesus.
John A. MacDonald wanted to call our new country the “Kingdom of Canada”. Doesn’t sound very Canadian, eh? Instead, Leonard Tilley, one of our confederation forefathers, chose a phrase from Psalm 72:8 “He shall have dominion also from sea to sea.”
Today our Charter of Rights and Freedoms (1982) begins with:
“Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of the law…”
Yes, our past and more recent heritage points us to our foundational roots that put God in His rightful place.
I recently attended a prayer summit which met for the sole purpose to pray for personal and national revival. We studied the principles of the eighteenth and nineteenth century awakenings. We interacted over “revival” scriptures and prayed together. It was a “time of refreshing” with grave concern over the spiritual future of our nation.
Join me and others in singing “O Canada” this week. Let us also join together to pray for the spiritual revival of our nation.
“Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away. Then times of refreshment will come from the presence of the Lord.” Acts 3:19-20 (NLT)
Have a blessed week,
Our 2015 Fellowship theme verse is:
“"For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:10 (NLT)