Today in the United States, we celebrate Independence Day. We’ll mark our separation from England with parades and flag-waving, homemade ice cream and fireworks. Families and communities will gather and, hopefully, spend a few moments contemplating the reasons for our Declaration of Independence.
As believers we too experience an independence day in our lives: a moving from the slavery of sin into the freedom of life in Christ.
Peter reminds us that this freedom, like all freedoms, comes with responsibilities:
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9 ESV
Perhaps this day set aside to celebrate the birthday of our nation is also an opportunity to contemplate this life to be lived in the light.
Like many other American families, we’ll be watching fireworks tonight. We’ll see the sky explode with bright demonstrations of pyrotechnic wonder. We’ll hear the thunder-like boom and feel the earth shake with movement.
I wonder what our communities would look like, what walls we could build, if we took seriously this call to be a holy nation – not as the United States, but as the Church, the Bride of Christ.
- Imagine communities where the believers were bright lights of hope and encouragement to those who were living in hopelessness and desperation.
- Imagine neighborhoods where the actions of believers thundered loud with relationships built on mutual respect and a willingness to serve.
- Imagine homes where every movement was grounded in a desire to build up and nurture.