Here’s another church bulletin article. This one’s from last Sunday.
This week we, as citizens of the United States of America, will celebrate our Independence Day with fireworks, picnics, vacation, BBQ’s, lemonade, and maybe a little air-conditioning. Arguably, all of this is possible because of a little event that occurred over 200 years ago. If you remember your history, this country, as we know it, began as a series of colonies of another country that was expanding its global holdings; Great Brittan. And, skipping ahead a little, on July 4, 1776 our nation decided that it no longer needed to be tied to its benefactor and declared its independence from Great Brittan with a document commonly referred to as the Declaration of Independence.
I am always amazed by the language that was used in that document. It is such a beautiful work to read. You can almost hear the passion of its writers bursting forth from the paper on which it was written. One of my favorite lines reads as follows:
When, in the Course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another…
I can almost visualize the political bonds spoken of here being broken and dissolved and the soon to be nation being set free from its captor. It is an awesome sight, and yet it is a sight that should be familiar to us as Christians. After all, we too have been set free from our bondage. We have been loosed from our chains, and set free by Christ.
You see, about 2,000 years ago someone came and freed us from our sin. This was necessary because with our sin we stood no chance of being with God. He being holy requires that we be holy to even have the possibility of one day being in his presence. And so, we were stuck. We were in bondage, and we needed a way out. We needed someone to dissolve our bonds, to borrow a little language from the Declaration of Independence. Christ was, and still is, the answer. He came and died for our sins to cleanse us. Like our forefathers who loosed us from the rule of Great Brittan, Christ loosed us from the chains of sin by suffering in our stead. He acted as our Declaration of Independence, and yet at the same time instilled in us a need for dependence on him; for without Him, as I have said, we stand no chance of being with God.
This Independence Day as you are drinking your limonade and enjoying your air-conditioning, I urge you to do something a little different. I urge you to celebrate both your independence and your dependence: your independence from British rule, and your dependence on Christ for an eternity with God.