Reflection for 4th of July

Happy Independence Day,

The 4th of July is a day my family always looks forward to. For the past few years, our celebration kicks off with my girls adorning their bikes with flags and streamers, ready to parade through the neighborhood with their friends. It’s a small but delightful tradition that brings us immense joy. The fun, the camaraderie, and the festivities make it a day to remember. We hope you had a 4th of July that’s just as joyful and memorable!

As we approach the holiday weekend, I wanted to share a short reflection on a passage of Scripture and an encouragement for you to take time this weekend to reflect and to pray.

In one of his letters to Timothy, the Apostle Paul urged him “to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them” (1 Tim 2:1). Then, becoming more specific, Paul added, “Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity” (2:2).

Paul thought it was necessary to pray for the government, and specifically for the political leaders (even, and maybe especially for those who stand in staunch opposition of Christianity). It’s likely that in Paul’s day, as in ours, it can feel justifiable to intentionally (or unintentionally) ignore them in our prayers. Scripture exhorts us, urges us, to be praying for our governing authorities.

In our current cultural moment, you can feel the divisive rhetoric rising in our land, especially following the most recent presidential debate. It is all too easy to get sucked into charged conversations that demonize the “other” and further contribute to the polarization of our times. In the words of Jesus, “but not so with you” (Matt. 20:26). As we approach a day of remembrance for the sometimes beautiful, sometimes dark, and always complex history of this nation, may we do so prayerfully, with thanksgiving, and intercession on behalf of a world that desperately needs Jesus. And may this land be filled with “peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.”

Pastor Alex