June 29, 2020
“Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.” Psalm 107:8-9
Independence Day is near, and this year’s celebrations are likely to look quite different from those of years past. Many communities around the country have canceled events out of an abundance of caution during the ongoing pandemic, while others are proceeding with modifications to their usual observances. With coronavirus (COVID-19) cases rising in some areas, residents have been advised to continue to practice social distancing and preventative measures.
As with most holidays, it’s always good to pause and reflect on the true reason that we’re celebrating. This quintessential American holiday, of course, marks the congressional ratification of the Declaration of Independence, which proclaimed the United States an independent nation on July 4, 1776. As Americans, we cherish the words from the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Independence Day reminds us how fortunate we are to live in a land that upholds the concepts of liberty and freedom. Perhaps the significance of this year’s holiday is even more poignant given the pandemic and social unrest occurring across the country. However, as we continue to emerge from months of isolation and find new ways of functioning together as a society again, may we have a new appreciation for the gifts of unencumbered everyday pleasures, as well as the freedom to worship, freedom to vote, freedom of speech, and freedom to peacefully assemble.
Even if our circumstances look and feel different this year, the Bible tells us that regardless of what is happening around us, God’s love never fails and we are to be thankful in every situation. “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). As we look forward to having some time with family or friends this weekend, may we always be humbly thankful for the blessings we enjoy. No matter how you observe this Independence Day, we hope that God will give you peace and the true freedom that comes from His grace.
Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version(R), NIV(R). Copyright (C) 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.TM Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com. The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.TM