An Independence Day Pause!

Each week I have the opportunity to share a meditation with you. This week I would like to be brief in observance of Independence Day in the United States. I ask for our Canadian readers to bear with me who celebrate their independence a few days earlier than we do in the U.S.

On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress voted that the thirteen American colonies would be an independent new nation, the United States of America. The Declaration of Independence was adopted two days later on July 4th.  John Adams, one of the five that worked on the final draft of the Declaration of Independence wrote to his wife Abagail: The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward. 

Of course, Adams was off by two days. Americans celebrate Independence Day on July 4, the date shown on the Declaration of Independence, rather than July 2, the date the resolution of independence was approved in a closed session of congress.

One of the predictions by John Adams was that Independence Day would be celebrated by many future generations. Because we have made Independence Day a national holiday, in just a few hours from now many of us will indeed have the opportunity to enjoy the company of friends and family. Another prediction was that we would celebrate with a bit of pomp and festivity. This we do as well: fireworks, lawn games, barbecues and much more.

Adams also encouraged us to commemorate Independence Day as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion. When I read what Adams wrote to his wife about solemn acts of devotion I started thinking about how important this is for us. It’s going to be busy at my house on Independence Day. We are hosting the family barbecue. I want to make sure that I pause, at least for a few minutes, to thank God for freedom and His many blessings before or after the party begins!

Joseph C. Hutchison, Rochester Hills, Michigan 2020

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