With Covid-19 case numbers rising again in our county and the postponement of the fireworks for July 4th because of the concern for a large gathering of people, things seem pretty dark right now. Our usual summer routines are being put on hold or cancelled as we continue to adjust to this health issue in our world. Yet, the reason for celebration has not been cancelled.
On July 4th we celebrate that our country took a stand saying, “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.” Notice this is for all, not just some, in our country. Even in the midst of division and tensions based on skin color, gender, and sexual identity, we are all members of the same country and are supposed to all have the same rights. This line is a beacon of hope for us. It is calling us to remember why we celebrate who we are as a nation.
As Christians, we know that it is God who gifts us with life, offers us the liberty to choose relationship with our Creator, and in doing so seek happiness with our fellowship humans. The earliest recorded organized community celebration of the country’s independence was in 1783 by the Moravian community of Salem, North Carolina. They held a celebration which included a concert and the lighting of candles. It was a way to recognize the gift of the freedom to worship our God as we choose, to be a light of God’s love to this new nation.
Today, though we will not be able to light up the sky with our usual Independence Day fireworks, we can still celebrate the hope we have in our God and the light of the love continue to shine into this world. This year I am encouraging us to “light up the land” by placing luminaries at our homes. Using small white paper bags, placing sand or stones or dirt in them, and placing a battery operated tea light candle, share the light. The church will be setting them out around the property on our steps and walkways to the sidewalks. I encourage each of us to put out luminaries on our steps, stoops and walkways to our homes to show the light of God’s love. We can continue to be a beacon of hope that we will indeed live through and beyond the current challenges we face. That in the midst of it all, God’s love still shines brightly.
Let’s #LightUpTheLand together.
In Christ’s service,