Did you know that one of our founding fathers, John Adams, almost 'missed' celebrating the Independence for which he strived?
Here's the story:
On June 7, 1776, the Continental Congress met, and the man with the most guts in human history (Jim's opinion - not actual fact perhaps) Richard Henry Lee, the delegate from Virginia, introduced a motion calling for the colonies’ complete independence from Great Britain.
On July 2, 1776 the Continental Congress voted in favor of Lee’s resolution for independence in a vote that was unanimous (except for the New York delegation, which abstained initially and then later voted affirmatively). On July 2nd, John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail that July 2 “will be celebrated, by succeeding generations, as the great anniversary festival” and that the celebrations should include “pomp and parades, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other.”
Then, (the part we all know), on July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress formally adopted the Declaration of Independence.
So, though the vote for actual independence technically took place on July 2nd, the 4th became the day we celebrate because it was the day that the Declaration was drafted.
Now this incredible story is unfortunately sometimes "old news" to us, but it shouldn't be. A smaller nation coming around common values and rising up against an empire? Waging a successful war all in the name of freedom? What a story!
Did you know that John Adams almost missed out on that joy? He was so convinced that independence came on July 2nd (when the formal vote happen) instead of July 4th (when the documents were written up) that he would reportedly turn down invitations to events on the 4th for years to come. And even though the 4th was celebrated by the masses, we have documents and reason to believe that he would defiantly celebrate on his own on July 2nd every year.
Now, I obviously don't know all the details, but isn't it interesting to think that something so glorious could be so tainted for a man because of one small issue? The new nation had just come together in battle, in government, and in a declaration of independence, but could not agree on which day to celebrate their remarkable victory!
One of the greatest tricks the devil has pulled on our culture is to make us so cynical, so prone to see negative, and so pessimistic that we can't savor the joys God gives us to the fullest.
Today, no matter how you feel about our government, its leaders, and the state of affairs in America, would you take time to remember those that sacrificed so that we may worship God freely.
And then remember the one who sacrificed that you may have LIFE.
Happy Independence Day.
See you Sunday.
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