By Lea Wojciechowski Ross, Blogger for Chantelle Jewelers ~ June 29, 2017
Happy (almost) 4th of July!
In modern-day America, Independence Day is a wonderful time to enjoy a long weekend chock-full of burgers and hot dogs on the grill, beer, sunshine, music, boats, fireworks, bonfires, friends, and family. Of course, these are all fantastic and also grant us much needed rest and relaxation from the mental stresses of daily, routine life.
But Independence Day is about much more than carefree days on the lake. We know the history – that on July 4, 1776, the thirteen colonies claimed their independence from England, an event which eventually led to the formation of the United States – but how often do we truly consider how blessed we are to live in a free country such as these United States?
According to this article, Christians in a particular way can remember four major reasons to add to the happiness of their 4th of July commemoration. These reasons give greater meaning and depth to our favorite summer celebration.
- Gratitude for Religious Freedom: America offers people the freedom to worship as they choose, without fear of being killed or arrested or shut down. More than a quarter of the world’s nations restrict or prohibit the practice of Christianity, but in the U.S., we are free to be open about our faith. We need to be thankful for that!
- Appreciation for Those Who Defend Our Freedom: Millions of people have served our country and defended our freedom, and some have even given their lives for the sake of all of us. Christians must thank God and pray for all the military personnel, past and present and future, and for their families who have also sacrificed so much.
- Thanksgiving for the Opportunity to Participate in Government: We should be grateful to God and to our country’s founding fathers and leaders that we have the opportunity to be involved in the democratic process. We can vote, get involved in issues we care about, and run for office. We must respect our leaders and pray for them to lead in a godly way. Our voice matters.
- Thankfulness for Peace with Family, Neighbors, and Friends: Overall, our nation is a nation of peace and safety. We do not encounter civil unrest and threats on our lives on a regular or daily basis like some peoples around the world do. We must express gratefulness and continue to pray for peace and an end to violence.
John Adams once said, “The general principles on which the [Founding] Fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity” (Barton). John Quincy Adams believed that Christmas and Independence Day are connected, and that “on the Fourth of July, the Founding Fathers simply took the precepts of Christ and His birth (Christmas) and incorporated those principles into civil government” (Barton), foundationally as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
As we put our 4th of July celebration into perspective of what we really are celebrating, the day becomes much more meaningful – and even those carefree days on the lake can be a little opportunity for some reflection on how blessed we are to live in the United States of America.