by Pastor Mark Jordan
I hope you had a wonderful Independence Day holiday! As many return to normal schedules and responsibilities today, may we not leave the celebration of freedom in our proverbial rear view mirrors.
This morning I reflected over what it must have been like on July 5, 1776. The Revolutionary War had already been underway for more than a year, and it would continue for another seven years. Still, as the Declaration of Independence was ratified on July 4, 1776 — making it clear that Britain’s colonies were now independent states of a new nation — the members of the 2nd Continental Congress knew things would never been the same. There was no turning back, not just because a line had been crossed with the king of England, but because of a conviction instilled by the King of kings that inspired a line in the document that would change everything — “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
That line from the Declaration of Independence is one of the most important sentences written in modern history. This infant nation was declaring that they knew freedom was granted by God and secured in Christ, so they were willing to see the struggle through to the end. The day after the 4th of July in 1776 — while still entrenched in the early days of the war — was a time of conviction. From creation to Calvary to the Continental Congress to the commitments for the day, the yearning for independence changed everything. That struggle continued then, just as it does today, knowing that the freedom that began with God was the foundation from which everything else flows. The independence that was declared that day, therefore, called for a dependence on God with a conviction that their struggle was worth it, and would not be in vain.
I hope you had a fun and festive 4th, steeped in family, faith, and freedom. May that not just be your experience of the 4th, but carry over to the 5th, and every day from here-on-out. Yes, mistakes will be made and freedoms encroached, but the struggle is just as worth it today as it was 241 years ago. Independence was declared on July 4, 1776 — and there was no turning back on July 5, 1776 — because it all started with God and was secured by Christ, remembering what Jesus said himself, “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36, NIV). So as life gets back to normal here on the 5th of July, may we know that we are free, never to be the same again, thanks to the love, grace, and mercy of God; salvation won in Jesus through the forgiveness of sin; and secured by the men and women who stand in harms way today just as they did all those years ago.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for creating me and setting me free in Jesus. May my celebrations of independence from the 4th instill within me a dependence on you for every day of my life. I pray this in the name of Jesus, your Son who truly set me free. Amen.