Saturday, June 27, 2009


The 4th of July is the most treasured national holiday in the United States. Independence Day celebrations are considered to be a yearly reminder of the cost of America’s freedoms. Yes, freedom comes at a high price and so does the cost of celebrating!

According to the American Pyrotechnic Association, 213 million pounds of fireworks were sold in 2008 at a cost of $940 million dollars!

How might the economy affect the celebration of America’s Birthday this year? “Phil Ramsey, owner of Ramsey Pyrotechnics who specializes in selling larger, non-consumer fireworks for special events said, ‘Patriotism is the reason people continue to purchase fireworks year after year. Event organizers have scaled back, but only to a very limited degree. A lot of these events are saying that they've had to cut back on so many other things but not on fireworks. This is still America, and when we celebrate, we want to do it right.’"

For a bankrupt country that is borrowing money from others which may or may not be trustworthy, what is America doing spending nearly a billion dollars every year on a few minutes of entertainment? Does the American way of “doing it right” mean bigger and better regardless of the cost, including losing the freedoms which are being celebrated? Is anyone else baffled by this?

I have always considered myself to be an American patriot and a Christian. Yet, in recent years, I began to question how to be both at once. Is the birthday of America a Christian holiday? Why am I less and less comfortable celebrating it?

Although an interesting and disturbing fact, the financial cost of celebrating isn’t my greatest concern. There is a higher cost of celebrating this holiday the typical “American way” which troubles me much more.

Have you ever joyfully sung songs which speak of the Creator of the wholeuniverse, yet make requests for “special blessings” upon America? Has the spirit of national honor ever been evoked within you while observing the sky set ablaze with magnificent firework displays, a symbol of Americanpower, and the air filled with strains of “The Star Spangled Banner”? Has this same spirit ever brought you to your feet, applauding a stunning finale which mingles the blood of Jesus on the cross with bombs bursting in air while the “honorable” American flag flies high in the background? It has me.

However, the Holy Spirit has been convicting me with these stirring questions:

* “Is there anything about this which reminds you of Jesus?”

* “Would your brothers and sisters in Jesus from other countries feel comfortable participating in these songs which pridefully exclude God’s blessings upon them?”

* “How would you respond to a spectator who has just begun to seek Jesus and questions, “Why do Christians applaud national power which kill other’s whom God loves?”

As children of God, our freedom came at the highest cost one could ever pay.
We must never forget that the precious blood of Jesus paid for His family of all peoples.
Every brother and sister in Jesus is precious and vital to His Kingdom work, regardless of their earthly nationality.

I wonder, “Is it possible to more universally demonstrate the love of King Jesus who made true freedom possible while celebrating “freedom” of a temporary worldly nation obtained by the blood of His children? Or…is it impossible to serve two masters?”

Whole-Heartedly, Bonnie

No comments:

Post a Comment