I’m not going to lie, I get pretty excited about the fireworks and food on the Fourth of July every year.
One year I was even on a plane the night of the 3rd and fireworks were blowing up in distant cities that we flew over- that was a pretty neat sight! I don’t know what your family is doing, but
I think what I want to reflect on somewhat this Fourth of July is not only the freedom that I have as an American citizen, but also as a follower of Christ because of what Jesus has done for me.
The reason that reflecting on this freedom is important is because if there was ever a day where I lost my freedom as an American to speak freely, worship and assemble, and have fair representation in the justice system I would still have my freedom in Christ. That freedom is something nobody can take away because it is bound up in the love that God has given to me through Jesus, that lives in me by the Holy Spirit. I will be at the beach over this next weekend and I will be joining them when I got off work Friday morning. I appreciate the fact that I can live in this country where so many people can live together and try to do the “American experiment” while trying to balance all of our differences and opinions. I think we do a good job sometimes, and other times I think we do damage to our neighbors around us. As a Christian I take the command to “love your neighbor” very seriously. I hope you do as well.
As the Apostle Paul wrote in Galatians 5:13-15,
“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.””
Let the result of our freedom in Christ bring us to a unity that is a blessing to others throughout our nation and world. We can show others what a true life in Christ is by the love of our words and deeds, rather than legislating morality for others. We cannot change people through the American government, but we can share our lives and lay them down for others and see God work to change their hearts because only he can bring the only true freedom and blessing every person really needs. He will defend the truth that he has written for us to adhere to in the Scripture and convict people of sin. This Fourth of July, don’t let your light just shine in the sky, but “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 5:16).