We’re back! After a glorious vacation, Portia and I are rested and ready to go. Thanks to everyone for graciously allowing us to step away and find rest and repose. It really was awesome.
Speaking of rest, I hope you have some fun plans for tonight, as we enjoy a long weekend in celebrating the 4th of July. My family typically enjoys a laid-back 4th, with some pool time at my parent's house, barbecue, and some sparklers and mini fireworks that the kids love.
I’ve been asked before about the 4th of July, our nation’s Independence Day, not only about HOW I celebrate it, but also, as Christians, if we SHOULD celebrate it.
My answer? Yes!
However you celebrate as a family, I say go for it. And do so with these two things in mind:
1- Our ultimate allegiance and identity lies in Christ.
Christians know that “our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phil. 3:20). If we are in Christ, joined to Him by faith, all other pledges of allegiance have been made secondary and peripheral, whatever our nation of origin or naturalization. At the end of the day — and at the end of our lives — we are sons of God, not sons of Uncle Sam.
We still have our loyalties — they may even multiply — but none goes this deep. This means that as we Americans sing the anthem together and pledge allegiance side by side, and as we enjoy the parades and fireworks shoulder to shoulder, we create and strengthen ties that only go so far. The blood of Jesus runs deeper than the blood that flows in defining or defending any nation.
2- Our posture is one of humble gratitude.
We should be amazed at the measure of God’s grace upon our nation. We as Americans have SO MUCH to be thankful for: from the beauty and splendor that characterizes our natural landscape, to the brave men and women who laid down their lives to afford us the rights and freedoms we enjoy today.
Americans are blessed, but CHRISTIAN Americans never beat their chest, never gloat, never act superior. Christians are stunned that God would lavish His love upon us in the forgiveness of our sins, and we’re stunned again that He would bless us — on top of all that — with an amazing home country. What a Savior!
So, we celebrate, we enjoy the day, we swim in pools and light fireworks and eat barbecue, and we do so with a heart posture that declares, “I’m humbled to be an American.”
Enjoy your holiday!
Looking forward to seeing you all on the walkway!