First Down (July 2, 2017)

Dear Friends,

A few years ago there was a television program on our second President John Adams, a mini-series. It gave the viewers insight into the history of our country. People, who struggled, people who sacrificed, who argued and came together. I really enjoyed this mini-series.

The part I enjoyed the most was when the Declaration of Independence was signed, it could have turned out to be the death sentence for all those who signed. It gave the British an easy way to go after these men for their treason. What kind of courage did it take for these men to do such a thing? Would you and I have signed, looking at the most powerful army in the world and being protected by an inferior army of the country?

These men no longer talked a big game; they put everything on the line. The odds were totally against them. We have no clue the miracle that took place during those days.
As we celebrate the national holiday of the 4th of July, we might take the time to recall the courage that was shown at the signing of that Declaration. People’s self interest needed to be put aside so that the greater good of Independence could begin to take shape. We have all been blessed to live in this part of the world and to experience a freedom that some in the world do not experience. To find comfort in our living is a luxury that many do not see. This does not mean every person is feeling blessed to live here, as there are some blessings that are just not appreciated.
Two lessons that we might reflect on would be; first, the courage to take a stand even when the situation around us looks hopeless. To go beyond simply talking a big game and be willing to risk something of importance makes a huge statement of what we believe in. We need to be sure we are willing to risk our lives for things that are truly pleasing to God, not just ourselves.
Secondly, to let go of our self-interest for an interest that benefits the most people. The people who formed our country put aside their own interests for something greater; we are the ones who have benefited from such a way of life.

Very few people would deny that this is a challenging time in our country for many reasons. This 4th of July might remind us that our early founders offered a powerful example of a way to live out freedom in a more responsible way.

Peace in Christ,

Fr. Eric