by Shawn McEvoy
So now, come back to your God! Act with love and justice, and always depend on him. ~ Hosea 12:6, NLT
The 'Fourth of July' devotional.
It fell to me this year.
And whoa if I didn't have a firecracker of a time coming up with what to write.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not riding on the trendy bandwagon of American self-loathing. I love my country. I dig personal and religious freedom. Without a free press I'd be out of a job, and without free speech I'd be locked up somewhere. But not here!
So why the long face on red-white-and-blue, take-a-day-off, fire-up-the-grill day?
Because Christianity has so little yet too much to do with the American Dream.
Because I get sad when I consider the evolution 'Freedom' has undertaken just in my lifetime – from "allowed to act responsibly" to "if it feels good do it" to "absolutely anything goes and don't even try to suggest otherwise, or we might just take away your freedom."
Because "Independence Day" is a disconnect for me, devotionally speaking, from things I know to be true: that independence has never served me well where family or friends or work colleagues or society or the Church or the Lord are concerned.
And so, left without the trite and tried-but-true for today's devotional, I settled on the short, bittersweet, and eternal…
Neither politics nor religion nor any mixing of the two will save me.
Some things really are messed up. Many valuable things are really not mess-up-able. A few things that are require only repentance or the granting of forgiveness to restore.
It's never wrong or out-of-style to be thankful, to express gratitude.
You can pledge your allegiance to the flag every day and admit your own and your country's independence, but "when you bow down before the Lord and admit your dependence on him, he will lift you up and give you honor" (James 4:10, NLT).
Have a safe and blessed holiday, everyone.
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