Jun 28, 2012

Celebrating Transitions: The Fourth of July

The Fourth of July marks a transition between being part of another nation’s colonial holdings and becoming an autonomous nation. This next week, we celebrate the freedom afforded by the Declaration of Independence. On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in secret to approve Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence, and thus a new nation was born.

We often celebrate transitions—between being a student and being a graduate; between being single and being married; between working and being retired; between living and dying. Truly, change never really slows down, but we must meet it head on. My guess is that the better we handle and understand change and transition, then the better we thrive as God’s people.

What people in the original American Colonies had to decide was whether they could trust the promise inherent in a new vision of the New World, or whether they could simply continue to abide business as usual from the British crown. Of course, we know the rest of the story and how it turned out.

For believers today, the transition of vital importance is the one from being an autonomous person to becoming a faithful believer who relies exclusively on God’s grace, mercy and forgiveness. Those who are genuinely mature understand Jesus’ words: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). The more mature we are  the more we recognize that we are dependent on God as children of God. We worship a God who offers us, in many ways and places, the absolute love by which all children thrive.


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