The 4th of July is more than just a holiday, more than fireworks, more than picnics with family.
The 4th is a celebration of an ending and a beginning.
On July 4th, 1776, the debate had ended. America was committed to declaring it’s independence from England. There is considerable debate on whether the signatures on the document were signed on the 4th or a later date. But that doesn’t matter. The signers were committed to a new nation and we celebrate their commitment, courage and ultimate sacrifices.
And that was also the beginning. A new nation was birthed through hot, sweaty discussions that often were more heated than those Philadelphia summer days. The war of revolution was far from over and still uncertain on July 4th. Yet, when the news reached General Washington, I believe it gave him a renewed belief in what he was fighting for.
This beginning led to many other issues to be resolved, a constitution to be drafted, amendments added to fine-tune the constitution, wars to be fought, the troubling issue of slavery to be engaged and ultimately decided through the sacrifice of thousands of Northern lives, mostly white men, who died to free men and women of color.
On this July 4th our nation is still engaged in troubling issues; perhaps the birthing pains still go on. But, I believe God is not through with us yet.
Have a happy and safe July 4th.