Browsing Pastor's Corner

First Commandent and July 4th

Jul 2, 2019

Founding Father John Adams had the right idea. When he wrote a letter to his wife on July 3, 1776, he described how future generations of Americans ought to celebrate our nation's Independence Day. He called for "Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more." But first and foremost, the statesman who would serve as second president of the United States, wrote, "It ought to be commemorated as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty." In other words: parades, fireworks — and the First Commandment! At a time when factions of Americans find themselves ensnared in partisan and poisonous passions, and at a time when we struggle to govern according to our nation's founding principles, it's hard to go wrong if our to-do list as a nation begins with the First Commandment.

I am the Lord your God; you shall not have other gods before Me.

By solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty, by adhering to the First Commandment, we orient ourselves to our Creator who, through love, holds us in existence and calls us to communion with Himself. On this Fourth of July, Adams' words remind us that our primary covenant is with God, not with any given political party, nor with the false gods of power, money, and fleeting pleasures. We are called to uphold our end of the covenant to the One True God who expects more from us than simply being "good people." We are called to be saints. 

When we love with all our heart the God who created us in love, we bring order to our lives and thereby claim the freedom He intends for us. That is to say, true freedom — freedom definitively bound to the ultimate good, which is God who seeks to dwell in our hearts and sanctify our words and actions. A nation that adheres to the First Commandment sheds its unholy appetites and inclinations. It eschews self-righteousness and arrogance. It embraces humility, self-sacrifice, and forbearance. It doesn't seek to wound another, to gossip, to boast, and to lie. Its best interests aren't pursued to the detriment of others. When it speaks, it knows its facts. When it acts, it does so with radical love. After all, is not our Nation founded on this primary principal highlighted in our Declaration of Independence: “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.” Respect ALL human life beginning with He who is the way, the truth and THE LIFE, Jesus Christ.

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