It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1
The 4th of July has new attention from me today. Immediate thoughts that run through my head are ones of soldiers I have met and prayed for. The intentional “thank you’s” Ridley and I share when we travel through airports and see the men and women who fight for our freedom. There are the thoughts of my family members that have served in the past. There is my recent flight where I sat next to Shane, the soldier who lost both legs (read my April 24th blog). I am proud to be an American. That makes me desperate to cling to the heritage of our country and make sure I live it out for my kids and generations to come. Being born in Charlottesville, Virginia, I am reminded of the history available to us all over the country that we have to study and model. I am saddened by the gap we are seeing between who we were, as a country and where we are headed. I guess I have a new appreciation for today being named, “Independence Day”.
Two of the main men who signed the Declaration of Independence were Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. John Adams wrote to his wife, Abigail the day before the signing and this is what he said,
“I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.“
*Interesting history fact: Thomas Jefferson and John Adams both died on the same day which happened to be July 4, 1826. That day was the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.
Congratulations to us, as a country, for getting the celebrating part down pat with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other. However, why do we not celebrate even more with our solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty? Why have we maintained our displays of illumination with fireworks but our display of being a light to a dark world has fizzled?
For me, with the current state of our country, I am most aware of the freedom I have in Christ Jesus! The kind that Galatians 5:1 is talking about. The kind of freedom that Jesus lovingly provides me that keeps me free from the things I used to be a slave to. Acceptance, love, performance, money, standards, images, and status will all still be a part of my world….some of them more than others. However, they no longer shape me or define me. They aren’t my priority. When the world screams, “Lisa, you get it all wrong and mess up”, Jesus says, “I can make your mess beautiful, when you give me your mess”. When the world screams, “I love you, but here are all the conditions to receive it”, Jesus says, “I will take you just the way you are and all I ask is that you let me have all of you so I can free you.”
“Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you FREE.” John 8:32