The July 4th holiday, aka Independence Day is celebrated with reunions, barbecues, parades, festivals, bonfires and fireworks. Adults and children alike enjoy wearing and waving red, white and blue. Flags go up on houses and poles, and the Star Spangled Banner is sung. This special day provides a needed mid-summer break for hard working Americans to relax and spend time with those they love. All these things and more is what Americans love about July 4th.
As I participate in public Independence Day activities, I am often reminded just how detached we, as Americans, have become from it’s significance. Because we have been an independent nation for two hundred and forty-one years, it is easy to forget that there was a time we were not independent.
There was a time that we were required to pay taxes to a nation which gave us no representation. July 4, 1776 marks the day that the final version of the Declaration of Independence was approved. Though it was not signed until August, this is the date that is included in the Declaration as the day we, as a nation, declared our independence from the tyranny of England.
MEMORIALS ARE IMPORTANT:
We become detached when we fail to remember the significance of past events. This was the sentiment of John Adams when, in 1817, he wrote in a letter that America seemed uninterested in its past. Fortunately this would soon change. When the Federalist party fell apart following the War of 1812, the Declaration of Independence began to be circulated again.
The deaths of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson on July 4, 1826, also helped to serve as an important reminder of the day. By 1870, Congress declared July 4th to be a national holiday in a bill that also included the observation of Christmas as a holiday.
If we are to remember, establishing memorials is essential. We see this demonstrated for us in Scripture. God often called His people to establish memorials. He wanted them to remember significant, life-changing events like crossing the Jordan on dry ground. He wanted them to remember Lot’s wife. He wants believers to be reminded often of the sacrifice of Christ by observing the Lord’s Supper. Memorials are important.
As we celebrate Independence Day, we are pausing to remember the day that our nation was born as an independent nation. The day we became a free nation. As such, our nation became something truly exceptional because our nation and its founders valued independence and freedom.
FREEDOM IS FROM GOD:
“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.” The well known opening lines of the declaration reveal that the writers understood that freedom is a gift from God.
This understanding directly stemmed from their respect of the Word of God. While many today question our beginnings and seek to turn from the God of the Bible, it is extremely important that we remember that the freedom we celebrate is from God. It was made possible by men who believed this and pledge their lives and sacred honor to procure it for our nation.
As we celebrate, may we remember again that the freedom we enjoy today is a product of our nation’s Judeo-Christian heritage.
Take the time to remember the significance of Independence Day. Share it with your family and friends. Take a moment to publicly thank God for the freedom that we are privileged to enjoy. Also, don’t forget your personal independence day. It is the day you were set free from power and penalty of sin. The day you believed on Jesus to save your soul. John 8:36 says, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”
(This article was originally posted on Theology without Apology)