How would you describe America’s Independence Day?
Parades and picnics? Friends and family? Hot dogs and hamburgers? Ice cream and apple pie? Baseball and barbeques? Flags and fireworks?
You could not go wrong with any or all of those choices (except fireworks which in my opinion are overrated). 🙂
But for me there is a single word that undergirds, defines, animates, and symbolizes Independence Day. That word is FREEDOM.
Living in the United States carries with it a deep and precious freedom that was birthed on the fourth day of a sweltering July in 1776 when we ceased to be a colony of England.
But that freedom does not exist in many other parts of the world. America’s freedom is a blessing to be cherished, clutched, and celebrated. It must never be taken for granted.
It makes me think of the Apostle Paul’s instruction to be good citizens:
“Be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.” Titus 3:1–2
What should American Christians be thinking on this Independence Day 2000 years later?
We should look to the American flag as the symbol of our EARTHLY FREEDOM, but only after recognizing and worshiping Jesus as our one and only beacon of SPIRITUAL FREEDOM.
All earthly pledges of allegiance must be subordinate to our profession of faith in Jesus Christ.
The precious blood shed by American soldiers to preserve our freedom must never be forgotten. But the blood of Jesus runs deeper, much deeper than that which defended nations.
What about patriotism and love of country in America?
Christians need to be patriotic and express their allegiant love to their country. Proud to be an American? You bet.
But there may be another term that should be elevated above being proud of this great country—THANKFUL HUMILITY.
It’s pretty cool that even with our current wave of divisiveness and political polarization tension God is protecting the nation’s foundational pillars.
We must celebrate the past with gratitude on this great holiday. But we should also use it as inspiration for our faith in the future and a trigger for us to re-commit our lives to God.