Celebrating Independence

Every summer the 4th of July beckons and we heed the call. Traditionally we
have dinner and other activities with one neighbor and then move to the front drive
to watch another neighbor setting fireworks at night celebrating and remembering
our nation’s independence from the British crown. How does your family celebrate
Independence Day?
The connection between a nation celebrating independence from a foreign,
oppressive, loveless ruler and the freedom we enjoy as Christians from evil, the
world and our own sinful flesh is the low hanging fruit of a church’s July newsletter.
But I’ll take the bait.
As Christians we have the privilege of celebrating our independence from true
tyranny and oppression every week when we come together for worship. Every day,
we have the opportunity to live life free from the heavy hand of a power-hungry
sovereign and the fear of incurring his displeasure while we pursue life, liberty and
happiness. We do not need to wonder in fear with what our future holds, because we
know in whose hands it is held. We do not have to worry about the eternal
consequences of the worst mistakes we have made, because we know that all is
forgiven in Christ.
If celebrating the overthrow of the British crown over 200 years ago is worth
celebrating with vacations and bar-b-ques, fireworks and traveling, hot dogs and non
-pietistic beverages, how much is the present reality of eternal, God-given spiritual
freedom worth celebrating! As St. Paul writes: “It is for freedom Christ has set us
free.”
God’s blessings as you and your families as you celebrate on the 4th. But as you
do, know that your true independence from real evil happened not with the drafting
of a Declaration, but with the shedding of the blood of Christ, his death and his
resurrection.
I hope we all enjoy our summer and all the fun that goes along with this season.
Blessings,
Pastor William