July 6, 2021
This past weekend we celebrated Independence Day. The official day is July 4th, but since that fell on Sunday, we had a federal holiday on Monday the 5th as well. Independence Day, colloquially the Fourth of July, commemorates the Declaration of Independence of the United States on July 4, 1776. The Continental Congress declared that the thirteen American colonies were no longer subject (and subordinate) to the monarch of Britain, King George III. They were now united, free, and independent states. The congress had voted to declare independence two days earlier, on July 2nd, but it was not declared until July 4th.
Of course, declaring it is not all that had to happen. England was not going to just let the colonies wave good-bye. A war followed that lasted seven years. According to the American Battlefield Trust, around 230,000 fought in the Continental Army, though never more than 48,000 at a time. The colonial militias mustered up another 145,000. With a death toll of around 6,800, the chances of dying in combat in the Revolutionary War were roughly 1.8%, but the sacrifices in separation, destruction of property and money, and other hardship were great. It was an exhausting period of time. In fact, disease was a much deadlier enemy than the British troops, killing 17,000 would-be Americans. So even if you survived the battles, you still had a 4.5% chance of dying from dysentery, malaria, or smallpox. It was an exhausting, demanding commitment.
But today the United States of America is a world power. Independence Day is commonly associated with all kinds of celebration, including fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, political speeches, and ceremonies, in addition to various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States. Independence Day is the national day of the United States.
America is not perfect but is arguably the greatest nation on the face of the earth. That is why most everyone around the world wants to come to America. We are blessed because of our hard-won, unique freedom. We must pay attention to our choices and then be careful not to casually lose our freedom and slide back into being ruled by another nation.
Paul says there is another freedom we should celebrate and guard. It is the freedom we have in Christ. It is far greater than our freedoms as Americans, and it was even more incredibly won. “Freedom is what we have—Christ has set us free! Stand, then, as free people, and do not allow yourselves to become slaves again.” Galatians 5:1 GNT
I find it so interesting that this year July 4th landed on a Sunday. We say that Sunday is a part of the weekend, but it is not. It is actually the first day of the week, the Lord’s Day. Sunday is there to remind us of what Christ did for us through His sacrificial death and resurrection. Sunday is to remind us of who we are and what we have.
We have freedom! FREEDOM. Christ has set us free from sin and the power of sin. We are free from the guilt, shame, worry, and anxiety. Jesus Himself said, “Whom the Son has set free is free indeed.” The Lord’s Day is a gift to us. On this day we celebrate our freedom and refocus on the liberating relationship with our good, great, and generous Father, and the life made possible through His Son Jesus Christ.
Celebrate your freedom—and stay in solid relationship with Jesus. Don’t waste or take a chance of losing your freedom that was won at such great sacrifice. This weekend, be grateful and joyful. We are most blessed!