Message For Independence Day 2010

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Sometimes we are so heavily invested into convention and tradition, that we completely overlook what is happening around us.

 

Have you ever wondered what Independence Day is all about? Usually the celebration of this day is marked by patriotic displays. Many of us will host or attend a picnic or barbeque and spend the day with family and friends. Parades are often held in the morning, fireworks take place in the evenings. We are so heavily invested into parades, fireworks, and picnics that we loose sight of the reason for these celebrations.

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All this is happening because the signing of the Declaration of Independence 234 years ago is still an important event in the life of our nation. The Declaration itself is a foundational and culturally important document in the life of our nation. Although we acknowledge that the Declaration is a foundational and culturally important document in the history of our country most of us cannot recall more than a few words from the document or name more than five signers. We do not treat it as the very important document that it is.

 

{ You can read the text of the Declaration and find biographies of ALL the signers at this link }

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So, what do we REALLY celebrate when we watch parades go by and fireworks light the skies, as we wave flags in patriotic zeal and fervor? What do picnics and parties with friends and families really mean? What does July 4th mean to you and me in 2010 besides a reason to get together for a party?

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As we journey through life, every day we do what we have to do in order to live productive lives and stay out of trouble. That is true about our generation, and that was true about the generations that preceded us and whose legacy we inherited as citizens of this country. The United States of America was built and is continually being built by persons who made quality of life, happiness, and the pursuit of their own liberty in all aspects of life to be their ultimate goal.

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Independence Day is about God’s grace. Most of us use word "grace" without giving it a second thought. The way I understand God’s grace is as energy that flows from God towards us, and this helps us to be the best version of ourselves that we can possibly be. As followers of Jesus we are called to be the best versions of what we can be, and to help others to be the best that they can be. As citizens of our democratic nation we are given the freedom to do just that. Most of us do not even realize what a blessing it is because we have never lived without such freedoms.

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Independence Day is about recognizing God’s Grace in the lives of our founding fathers and mothers, and in the lives of countless persons who built this country into what it is today. Independence Day is about recognizing God’s grace in our lives.

 

Independence Day is about recognizing that our founding fathers and mothers were children of their time, just like we are children of OUR time. That simple fact explains our limits and gives us a glimpse of the possibilities of what we can accomplish. The point that I am trying to make is that our founding fathers and mothers had their share of faults and made their share of mistakes. SO DO WE. None of us are perfect.

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Independence Day is about recognizing that while there is much to repent in the history of our nation, there is also much to celebrate. From the vantage point of 234 years of history, it is easy to see that our founding fathers and mothers were not perfect because their "sins" are obvious to us. At the same time, we cannot deny the great accomplishments that came from this country during that time. That is God’s grace helping our nation to be the best version of ourselves even though we do things that displease God once in a while.

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Independence Day is about honoring our founding fathers and mothers the way they were – ambitious, opinionated, dreamers with an unexplainable drive to succeed and a willingness to roll up their sleeves to do so. It is about their spirit and it is about our hope to inherit a double portion of their spirit as we strive to serve our God and tend to our beautiful planet that was entrusted into our care. And just like our founding fathers and mothers made mistakes, so will we. But as long as we walk with God, we have the hope that He will help us to create something positive even from our mistakes.

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May God bless us on our journeys, may God Bless our country, may this land be like a shining beacon of hope and encouragement to all the peoples of the world to be the best version of what they can be, and may God’s blessing be upon all of God’s Creation.

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