234 years ago, 56 Founding Fathers pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor - putting literally their lives, their monies, and their reputations on the line - to guarantee freedom for future generations. Because of their sacrifices, America is still the longest on-going constitutional republic in the history of the world. This is a blessing that we too often take for granted.
Typical Fourth of July celebrations include cookouts, firework shows, days at amusement parks, or any other number of frivolous activities. However, when the Founders reflected on what they felt upcoming Fourth of July celebrations might - and should - look like, John Adams said it should also be a day when we remembered God's hand in deliverance and a day of religious activities when we committed ourselves to Him in "solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty."
The importance of remembering God's Hand in American independence was passed from generation to generation – illustrated by John Quincy Adams' famous 1837 oration in which he reminded Americans:
The birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior. It forms a leading event in the progress of the Gospel dispensation. The Declaration of Independence . . . laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity.
As this Fourth of July approaches, let's break ranks with only participating in "traditional" activities and remember to:
1. Take time to honor and thank God on the Fourth – make it a day celebrated "with solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty."
2. Read the Declaration of Independence. Knowing the reasons for our founding is no less important today than it was 234 years ago.
3. This is a flag-waving time of the year, so review the fascinating account surrounding Francis Scott Key's writing of the Star-Spangled Banner. You can view a 7-minute video of that inspiring narrative, or download it to show at your church over the next two Sundays.
4. Read John Quincy Adams' famous 1837 Fourth of July oration .
5. With your family and/or friends, go online and learn about two Founders that you've never heard of or aren't familiar with. A great site to visit for more information about the founders is http://www.colonialhall.com/.
If you are interested in reading other famous patriotic orations about the Fourth of July, or if you want to know more about each of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence, you can order our two books on these subjects (Celebrate Liberty Famous Patriotic Speeches and Sermons Book, and Lives of the Signers of the Declaration Book ). We also have a number of our other products on sale at a special 15% discount.
Enjoy your Fourth of July!
(By the way, if you know of others who might enjoy learning of God's hand in America's history, have them sign up on the WallBuilders' website for these periodic email pieces.)