Independence Day?

Independence Day! Each year as a nation we remember that we are free. We take time to pause and reflect on freedom. Back in 1776 there were men who threw down the gauntlet and bravely declared that we, on this day, declare that we are free from imperial oppression.

However--as a black man--I can never think about this day without thinking about how odd it is that those men would declare their freedom while denying freedom for my ancestors. It makes me think about me, today.

In what areas am I blind to the contradictions in my own life? I know, for instance, that I am a man who believes that we should do all that we can to care for this one earth that we have been given. All the while driving a 1998 Nissan Maxima that most certainly adds to the destruction of our ozone layer. From one side of my mouth I declare that I believe all Americans are equal and deserve equal protection under the law. But I am afraid to go all the way with that conviction when I am talking with my friends who I know do not fully embrace such a belief. Finally, I say that we are each made free in Christ yet I am constantly held paralyzed by my own fears and anxieties.

Today, as I pause to thank those imperfect men for their courage and their convictions, I also pause to ask God to free me from my own contradictions and biases. Lord, may the freedom that we celebrate be fully realized today. May your kingdom (your rule and reign) come fully on earth as it is in heaven. May all people be free and live into the calls and destinies that you have ordained. May we, free men and women, never feel secure or rested in our freedoms until we have done all we can, said all we can and sweated all we can for another's freedom.

Happy Independence Day. Live into your freedom that--I believe--is most fully realized in the finished work of Christ on the cross at Calvary.

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