Hope you have a happy July 4th!
Our church always has a special "Patriotic Celebration" around July 4th. We sing patriotic songs and even eat BBQ for lunch after the morning worship. Our decorators always have our church arrayed in red, white, and blue. And, we have a huge flag that hangs down from our ceiling right in the middle of the sanctuary. The choir sings the "Salute to the Armed Forces" while all of our soldiers stand. Enough to rouse some misty eyes and goose bumps.
Naturally, the word, freedom, is tossed around quite a bit. I am thankful to live in a country where I can attend church and worship without fear for my life. But, can I say that I feel we Christians are not without some occasional persecution? No, we aren't threatened with our lives, but aren't we discriminated against? How often do all other religions and beliefs get to voice their opinions only to have followers of Christ told they can't say Jesus' name?
My pastor-husband has been asked to pray for public meetings yet told he can't pray in Jesus' name. He turns the offer down. Why? To not pray in Jesus' name would be compromising what he believes in.
As Christians, we need to be willing to stand up for what we believe in. I'm not advocating violence or picketing. But, too often we stay silent when we need to speak the truth. We have become a generation of "undercover" Christians. This is not what God has in mind. Christ proclaimed that we are to go and tell.
This July 4th I am thankful for my freedoms as a citizen of the United States, but I'm more thankful for the freedom I've found in Jesus Christ which makes me a citizen of Heaven.
Thank You, God. In Jesus' name. Amen.