July 01, 2021
What if…on this 4th of July we thought about and were thankful for what's right with our country instead of thinking about and dwelling on what's wrong with our country?
What if…on this 4th of July we focused on our similarities instead of our differences and worked for the good of "all" rather than demonizing the "other"?
What if…we kept doing this on the 5th and the 6th and the 7th of July…?
As I think about Independence Day, I am reminded that with freedom comes great responsibility. The Apostle Paul says in Galatians 5:13-15, "For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters, only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another. For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' If, however, you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another."
There will be great celebrations all over our country on the 4th of July weekend. Families and neighbors and even strangers will come together and eat and drink and swim and play games and have a great time. There will probably even be a greater sense of community. Patriotic holidays bring that out in us.
Grab onto that sense of community and keep hold of it in the days and weeks and months that follow. We need it. Our churches need it. Our country needs it. It seems we've given up on working for the common good and instead are focusing all our energy on "winning," which really means insuring that we get our own way.
What if…we focused less on our own way and more on God's way…which is to love your neighbor as yourself? We better be finding out…before we are consumed by one another.
Grace and peace,