Likely as you read these words, it is July 4th, the celebration of the birth of our nation.
In the summer of 1776, the Second Continental Congress met and on July 2nd, they voted on a resolution declaring our independence from Great Britain. Two days later, they actually signed that resolution.
John Adams wrote his wife, Abigail about that historical vote. He said, “The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. 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.”
Adams went on to mention that the great day should be solemnized by pomp, parades, games, sports, bells and guns, all of which we do with great passion. As a nation, we sing almost in unison the words of Lee Greenwood’s famous song “Proud to be an American.”
Those words in part are: “And I’m proud to be an American where at least I know I’m free. And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me. And I’d gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today. ‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land God bless the U.S.A.”
But even as I am humming that tune right now, I am nudged to remember John Adams instruction to commemorate this as a day of deliverance “with solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.”
My political freedom means a great deal to me. I cherish beyond words the sacrifice our military families have made for you and I. As I have had opportunity to travel around the world and experience first hand the lack of civil liberties, I greatly value our freedoms. There is a kind of political deliverance that we must be grateful for…
But the fourth of July is a good reminder too of the spiritual deliverance that we have received from Christ and His sacrifice on our behalf. I am proud to be an American, but I am prouder still of my relationship with the Lord brought on by grace.
This week is a wonderful time to cherish the goodness of God shed throughout our land. But let’s make sure and remember that those blessings come from Almighty God. Adams got it right. We are delivered (politically and spiritually) as we put our faith and trust in the finished work of the cross.
I am proud to be a Christian, first.