Independence Day

Independence Day

Posted: Thursday, July 3, 2008 12:05 pm

The Messenger. 07.03.08 Written by members of the Obion County Ministerial Association It’s almost here! Independence Day! The Fourth of July! Time to spend way too much on sparkly, booming, flying, banging things that are a threat to life, limb and property! What a country! Strangely, a recent poll indicated that a little less than 40 percent of people under 30 years of age identified this day as the day chosen to celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the document which gave life to the American dream — life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Whatever happened to the spirit which drove those patriots to commit sedition, who literally put their lives, their fortunes on the line to pursue that wonderful dream? The dream was the dream of freedom — the freedom provided only in an atmosphere where toleration, justice and equality reign. And look at us now. I wonder if they would recognize the country they founded based on biblical principles and relying on the love, mercy and grace of God in whom they all believed. I wonder if they would cringe to see that we have taken the idea of freedom and turned it into a headlong rush into libertinism. I wonder if they would understand that we have so distorted the idea of freedom that we have made ourselves prisoners of our own selfish, silly desires. Perhaps this would be a good time to revisit something the Apostle Paul said in Galatians 5:1, “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.” What Paul notes there is something all Christians should know — true freedom, true liberty is found only in fully submitting our lives to God. There is no other certain way we can shake off the chains of slavery that bind us, to rid us of the force that bind us to the wickedness of the world. This could be a true day of independence for all who believe. We could be rid of the constant drive to get more stuff, to make more money, to have more toys. We could rid ourselves of our propensity to spend more than we make, to always think of ourselves first, to ignore the needs and suffering of those other people just down the block or around the corner. We could rid ourselves of the meanness, madness and maliciousness with which we too often live our lives. We could rid ourselves of all the things which keep us from having a healthy relationship with God. What a day of independence that would be. Then we would have the freedom to be the people God made us to be and wants us to be again. And we could go to bed that night resting in a peace so wonderful it is unimaginable for those who do not believe, a perfect gift from God just for being who we are. Have a happy, safe and peaceful Independence Day! The Rev. Hugh D. Barksdale Mount Zion and Rush Creek United Methodist churches

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