Other days during the month focus on one thing or another. Of course, in our country, July seems to revolve around the holiday commemorating the declaration of our Independence. I am sure you realize I am referring to the fourth of July. There are two other independence days celebrated in July, one of which I have difficulty coming to grips with. That is also on the fourth and it is the
Independence from Meat Day. Why anyone would want to be free from meat is beyond me. Somehow celebrating the declaration of Independence without meat on the grill doesn’t sit quite right. Tofu hotdogs and veggie burgers somehow just don’t sound very patriotic to me. But that’s me, a lover of hot dogs; apple pie, baseball and Chevrolets.
The other Independence Day being celebrated during the month of July is one that is close to my heart. It is “National Get out of the Doghouse Day”. Perhaps because as a husband with almost thirty-nine years of experience, I have seen the inside of the doghouse on more than one occasion and experienced the joy of being released from it.
Getting back to our National Independence declaration celebration. We know that on that day, the colonists made a declaration, but that lots of work still lay ahead to make such a declaration a reality. It was a “we are declaring ourselves to be free from the rule of Great Britain” and then began the process that included battles, strategy, decisions, organization and mutual dependence to live out such a declaration. In our Christian walk, we make such a declaration upon our Baptism. In the sixth chapter of the Book of Romans, after pointing out what baptism means, Paul goes on in 6:11-14 “So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments of righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.” (ESV) One of the things that occurs during baptism is the validation of the declaration “I am no longer bound to Satan. My allegiance is to Christ”. Then comes the strategy, battles, decisions and mutual dependence with others who have made the same declaration to live out such an eternal proclamation. Even after we had won our independence as a nation, we had to answer the question “what will we now do with our freedom”. Children of God must answer the same question “what will we now do with our freedom from death and condemnation?” The answer is to present our bodies to God as instruments of righteousness. That is a ginormous proclamation. I know that in my life, I depend on all of you to help me live it out which
one of the beauties of being a Child of God, I have lots of brothers and sisters. As we strive to live out the freedom we have in Christ, remember that you don’t have to do it alone.
Have a blessed July,