Like most Americans I will be celebrating Independence Day on this fourth of July in some way. For many of us, that means eating, drinking, being merry, and enjoying fireworks and family. That all has its place, but it’s so much more to it than that.
The awesome document called the Declaration of Independence that was adopted in 1776, resulted from Britain's oppressive control over the American colonies. In the portion of the document known as A Declaration of Rights, the authors eloquently stated, "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."
Everyone wants to be treated with respect. No people want to be governed by a body that gives them no say. To the authors of the Declaration, these rights are given us by God, and no one has the right to take them away. Out of this passion, the colonies made their appeals to Britain and its king but to no avail. All attempts having failed, the signers of the Declaration felt that the only recourse they had was to declare the colonies independent, with all ties to Britain ended.
As I reflect on the independence movement that gave rise to the Declaration of Independence and the great country that has resulted--the greatest in all the world--I believe that it was more than Congress appointing a committee to pen a Declaration, but also God must have had His hand somewhere in the matter. I am so thankful to Him that He has blessed me to be born in this country wherein I can pursue and realize the "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" that the authors of the Declaration envisioned. Hopefully, you feel the same.
It all started with a cry of the human soul that refused to be silenced. And so here we are—America, land of the free, home of the brave. To really appreciate it all, we must reflect on the story behind the historic moment that has brought us to the point of celebrating this holiday as we currently do.
I see a parallel between the Declaration of Independence and our Redemption through Christ. Since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, all of humanity was in bondage and oppressed by the devil. There was no one throughout all of humanity who could help us. We were hopelessly doomed to hell. “But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law…” (Galatians 4:4-5a).
In conclusion, the right to pursue life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is an ideal that characterizes the spirit of America, but the truth is that only through Christ’s redemptive work on the cross, can we know true life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This is the Declaration that heaven has made on our behalf, signed by Christ’s blood that He shed on Calvary. This is the message that we must proclaim—if present day America has any hope of fully realizing the vision of the authors of the Declaration of Independence. God bless our great country, our soldiers and our veterans. Amen.