No Worship Service on July 3rd, because, well...
Independence is a terrific political idea; that a people should be free to determine their own destiny seems so obvious that it hardly bears mentioning. And yet, the freedom we enjoy in this nation is a relatively new arrival in the history of ideas and should never be taken for granted.
Christian freedom is an entirely different thing. In being set free from the law and counted right with God by faith alone, we are perfectly free no matter what political conditions we may live in. We are free from the condemnation of sin, free from the requirements to behave in a particular way, free to be our true selves. Paradoxically, we are set free from the old way of life precisely so we can be bound to one another in love.
For too many, independence means being free from any obligation to anyone else at any time. The prevailing ethos is too often one of, "I got what is mine. Why should I help you get what is yours?" What we who have been set free in Christ can offer this world is a different model of freedom. We who are set free from selfish and fearful living can offer a glimpse of the Kingdom that is and is to come; where all matter, all count, and where if one hurts, all hurts, and if one rejoices, all rejoice. Independence is best lived when it is not independence from each other, but for each other. Happy 4th, and be careful with the fireworks.