Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Independence Day

Happy 4th of July.

I've never been a real flag waving sort of guy. I love my home, of course, but I've always made my first allegiance to God. And God is often at odds with our government and our culture.

Still, I was out on the street watching the 4th of July parade today. I cooked out with the family – had hamburgers, hot dogs and ice cream. I would watch fireworks if it weren't for the rain.

It's part of the community, and although the community isn't always right, this is a relatively benign celebration. It's been 200 + years since that Declaration of Independence was signed, and many of the sins committed under the aegis of that new country are brutal. You could argue that even declaring a new country here without the consent of the people who were here before us was indefensible. But there we are, and it's unlikely to change.

What we can do with the holiday, is dedicate ourselves to making sure this country commits fewer and fewer of those sins. And to care for those within our country who need us. Because we are all part of this country – and we are all part of God's family, brothers and sisters wherever we are.

I read the Declaration to my kids today so they'd have a clue about what was in there. They rolled their eyes, of course, but I figure there's some stuff in there they ought to be aware of. I don't know how many folks even know what's in the Declaration, but I'm willing to bet that many of those who wave their flags the highest have little or no idea. I say, know what's in there, appreciate the good – and put it in its proper perspective behind the God who is love.