John Adams wrote this in a letter to his wife about celebrating the 4th of July in the future: “The day will be the most memorable in America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival…it ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade…bonfires and illuminations (fireworks) from one end of this continent to the other, from this day forward, forevermore.”
I was explaining this tradition to some foreign friends of mine who are from a pretty repressive country. Celebrating Independence Day with exuberance is all about appreciating freedom. They told me that America is still the great dream. Everyone wants to get to the United States. Even though the world often criticizes, many long to come here and be free.
I love America and feel so grateful that I was born a citizen and that I’ve never known what it is like to live without freedom of the press, speech, religion etc. Yet are those things actually true freedom? In truth, real freedom resides in the heart and is available to every man, woman and child through Jesus Christ no matter where they live. The freedom that we gain by knowing Him is worth a thousand splendid firework displays.
“If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.” (John 8:36) Freedom still rings!