Many Americans celebrated it with backyard barbecues, trips to the ball park, parties at a lake, and/or fireworks. All part of the common experience of this holiday in USA 2010. Some of us are extending the holiday into Monday, a creature called “Independence Day Observed.” Turns the whole celebration a long weekend of rest, recreation, and relaxation.
Some of us spent the morning in church in a time of worship. The freedom to worship is one of the fundamental rights afforded by our Founding Fathers in the Constitution. It is one of our most precious rights because our connection with the Creator is what gives us life itself. In my own congregation we also shared in a service of communion. We are not one of those churches that celebrates communion each week, yet again it seemed appropriate to come to the Table of the Lord to give thanks for a Savior who makes possible the truest of all freedom. “He died to make men holy. He died to make men free.”
We concluded our worship time with a prayer for our nation.
It is popular in our culture today to bad-mouth America. There are clearly many things that are wrong with our country, but such failings must not be blamed upon our system of government but laid at the feet of the values of its citizenry. Democracy does not promote greed, idolatry does. The Constitution does not endorse factionalism and racial bigotry, but our sinful nature thrives on such things. Our shallow ethics and consumer mentality are not the result of our three branches of government, they come from people who believe that they are accountable to no one save themselves and believe liberty is a license to grab all you can get.
Therefore, I pray that we will respect and treasure the liberty that our nation affords us who are fortunate to be born here and to emigrate her. But we need to pray for the soul of its citizenry that they do not use their human liberty as an occasion to live as sinfully as we desire.