This weekend is one of my favorite every year. It takes me back to my childhood when my grandfather and I would go and purchase fireworks. There was nothing more exciting to me as a child as using a match to light a firework, and then running away anticipating what would happen next!
To this day on every Fourth of July I see the faces of my grandfather smiling and laughing from the noise, colors, and explosions that the fireworks created. I think he probably got more out of watching the reaction of me than the firework itself. To this day I love the Fourth of July because of those memories, and because I still love my country. Sure we have our challenges and problems like any other nation. However, we have the freedom to choose to face those issues and become better as an American every day!
As a minister, my goal is to be the change I want to see, and inspire others to do the same. I believe that leaders become great not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others. My heart is to empower others to experience all that God has for their lives.
The early followers of Jesus didn’t have a yearly celebration to celebrate independence. Instead, they celebrated their Independence Day every week. From all indications, the first followers of Jesus shared in the Lord’s Supper as a gathered group at least every first day of the week. (Acts 2:42-46; Acts 20:7; cf. 1 Corinthians 10:16-17; 1 Corinthians 11:17-34) This day of remembrance became known as the Lord’s Day among believers by the end of the first century. (Revelation 1:9-10)
During The Supper, Christians remembered the Lord’s death on the day of the Lord’s victory over death and they anticipated the Lord’s return and liberation from a world of decay and death. (Romans 8:18-25; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) As they shared in this special time, they also recognized that they were the Body of Christ in the world; his people called to live his life for the world. They were challenged to recognize that each person in Christ’s Body is vital to it actually functioning as the presence of Jesus in the broken world. They were reminded that their ultimate allegiance was to a higher calling and a heavenly community that is more important than national and ethnic allegiances (Philippians 3:20-21) and they anticipated the celebration that awaits when all of earthly differences are lost in the wonder and praise of heaven itself. (Revelation 7:9)
Throughout the month of July we will be celebrating that each Sunday, every Lord’s Day, is the Christian’s Independence Day. Let’s not forget to celebrate it. Let’s not forget to remember the high cost of our freedom and to anticipate the day of our ultimate and glorious experience of that freedom when we see the Lord face to face. (1 John 3:1-3)
Let’s not forget that our church family crosses all of earth’s boundaries and awaits the Savior of all peoples, languages, tribes, and nations. Let’s be reminded that each believer, each brother and sister in God’s Kingdom, is precious and vital to the work of the Kingdom in the world. Let’s learn to more completely, more universally, more joyfully celebrate our Christian Independence Day and more fully demonstrate the character and compassion of our Lord and King who made this freedom possible.
We would love to see you and your family at South Side Sunday’s at 10:45 as we come together to worship, and remember the Lord who has given us all our spiritual Independence from sin and death!
South Side Church of Christ