"[This day] will be the most memorable epic in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the Day of Deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty…with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other from this time forward forever more."
--John Adams to Abigail Adams on July 4, 1776
With fireworks tents popping up all over your local county, it is clear Americans understand the pomp of July 4. After 231 years, we still revel in the celebration of our independence. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, we imported $206.3 million in fireworks from China last year. John Adams didn’t say anything about hotdogs and potato salad, and most church belfries are rusted over or non-existent, but we’re following the advice of America’s great patriot with one glaring exception.
What was it he said? “…solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty”? We can’t even make sure the United States Senate is devoted to giving Him thanks (can you say “Ommmmmmmmm”?).
But Adams is right. July 4 marks a national holy day that is a commemoration of our Day of Deliverance. Victory over Great Britain was a gift from God. American Christians need not take our cues from our secular culture. Long before we ever ice down the watermelon or heat up the grill, let us bow our knees and thank Providence for His munificent dealings and kind disposition towards the United States of America. We have never been more undeserving of His continued blessings than we are now. May our voices not be silent on July 4. Let us praise God, the Author of Liberty.