I am looking forward to the 4th of July. I love spending time with family, cooking out, eating watermelon, going to a parade, and watching fireworks. But if I am not careful, the day will slip away without me telling the story — without sharing with my children why this is an important holiday.
In the book of Joshua, after all the Israelites had crossed over the River Jordan, Joshua instructed them to pick up 12 stones and place them at Gilgal (Joshua 4:20-22). Why? So that when their children asked “What about those stones?” they could tell the story of how they crossed over the River Jordan on dry land just as God had made possible for their ancestors to do at the Red Sea.
What are the stones we have placed in our homes? What symbols do you have around your house that help you to tell the story of God’s work in your life? Maybe you have a family Bible that has been passed down for generations. Maybe you have a cross or crosses on the wall, or maybe you have Christian art. All of these items help tell our story. Even the music we play can be like modern day stones — things that help us remember who we are and whose we are.
The question is… do we ever tell the story?
What if over the 4th of July, you took time to talk with your family about the “stones” of our country. Talk about such things as flags, red white and blue decorations, parades, and fireworks — how they are more than just traditions, how they are symbolic “stones” that help us tell the story of our past and to help us to be grateful.
Let’s not forget why we celebrate. Let’s take a little time to teach our children the deep meaning behind the symbols of Independence Day. Our freedom is a precious thing, bought with the sweat, toil and blood of countless Americans who fought to obtain it (Revolutionary War), and also by those who have fought to secure it in the centuries since that fateful day in 1776.
A great way to kick off the holiday would be to watch “Hidden Figures” (if you haven’t seen it yet), and then join us this Sunday. Like the “At the Movies” series in previous summers, I will connect a popular movie (“Hidden Figures”), our life, and the Gospel. If you can’t make it, I encourage you to stay connected through our sermons online.