We gather as a nation to recall the Independence of the US Colonies from England. This is what July 4th honors. That we would be a nation that is not ruled by outside powers, but we as a people would rule ourselves. As we celebrate with fireworks, and gatherings and cookouts, we also recall that it wasn’t for another 89 years that the Africans who were brought as slaves to the colonies would be free two years after the Civil War. So even with two wars Blacks were not free. This message will probably make many uncomfortable, but to be prophetic we need to speak truth, seek understanding and healing. As we come together for Independence Day, we must celebrate and affirm our Inter-dependence with one another. Namely that for America to become a great nation, it will require the inclusion and liberation of all who reside on these shores. Independence Day must be a day where we look to the truth of our past so that we might embrace a new a great future together.
Let us look at the Prophet Zechariah’s today. Zechariah proclaims of message of hope, joy and restoration for the people of Israel. Listen to the prophesy following the Babylonian captivity, He says:
He shall banish the chariot from Ephraim,
and the horse from Jerusalem;
the warrior’s bow shall be banished,
and he shall proclaim peace to the nations.
This restoration is not just for the people of Israel, it is also a message of peace for us and hope for us. We are hopeful that weapons of destruction will be banished from our streets, and peace will be upon the land for all peoples and nations. We must find in the prophets message a source of encouragement and strength that the world we live in and nation we are citizens of can be changed to an existence where all value one another and the struggle of the oppressed and poor becomes everyone’s struggles, where those who enjoyed privilege and promises of our Constitution might in turn work toward all sharing in “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” You see if some are not Free, none are Free, where only a few know Liberation the nation is not liberated. We must be a nation where all Women and Men and truly Free. We face together with the Lord to lead us the crisis of today. Listen to what Christ tell us:
“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am meek and humble of heart;
and you will find rest for yourselves.
Together we seek to banish hatred and strife, violence and discord and find in our relationship with Christ a source to not only ease our burden, but the ability to stand for justice and equality so that all might share the benefits of this nation. We cannot settle for only some being free, we must struggle together until all are free.
Blessed Inter-Dependence Day to all. Know that we need one another to be truly a great nation.