Take a look at the monthly letter from our pastor to see what we are about and what we are looking at over the next month!
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 with 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 a few carefree summer days. We know the history – that on July 4, 1776, the thirteen colonies claimed their independence from England, but how often do we truly consider how blessed we are to live in a free country?
According to Lea Ross, Christians can remember four major reasons to add to the happiness of their 4th of July tribute.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. Thanksgiving for the Opportunity to Participate in Government: We live in the greatest country in the world because we have the opportunity to be involved in the democratic process. We can vote, get involved in issues and run for office. We must respect our leaders and pray for them to lead in a godly way. Our voice matters.
4. Thankfulness for Peace in the land of the free and the home of the brave: Overall, we do not encounter civil unrest like some peoples around the world do. However, we must continue to pray for peace and an end to violence in St. Louis.
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 these carefree summer days give us an opportunity for some reflection on how blessed we are to live in the United States of America.