Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day, all!

When I was a kid, I absolutely loved the 4th of July. The spectacle of it all, and my budding patriotism, stirred such excitement in me! That sense of delight has waned over the years, but I want to instill in my own children the thrill associated with the holiday. We’ll surely talk about the Declaration of Independence today, and George Washington and democracy and so forth. And we usually see some fireworks, too.

But in addition to all that, I’ll bring up something more important that I didn’t hear on this holiday as a child. Nowadays on the 4th, I don’t just think of bald eagles and the stars and stripes; I think about my own independence. I live in a free country, far away (ideologically and distantly) from authoritarian regimes. Some of the most troublesome take away even the freedom of religion (looking straight at you, Kim Jong-on). That’s more then a shame, it’s a tragedy, because when we’re able to know Christ, we’re able to experience a freedom that releases us from a prison of our own making, bars and walls we built by our sin. Christ takes our place, paying the penalty for our sin, and in him we have freedom for all eternity, but we also experience that freedom now, no longer having to live a life that tears us down at every curve.

While this is an American holiday – as American as they come –  I opened this post by greeting you all. Today, we can all celebrate an independence from a tyranny of our own making – and if that’s not worth a fireworks show, I don’t know what is.

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