In preparation for July 4th I found this information concerning John Adams and the Fourth of July. Because of the work completed on July 2, 1776 by the Second Continental Congress concerning the Declaration of Independence, John Adams thought that July 2 should be the country’s birthday. He was so adamant about it that he refused to participate in Fourth of July celebrations for the rest of his life.
Did Adams ever consider joining the celebration but then his pride got in the way? When do we stand firm or let go? How do we know which cause to defend and which cause to release? Years ago I pondered these questions during a time of prayer. I remembered two events that happened in the life of Jesus--the overturning of the tables in the Temple (Matthew 21:12-13) and when he stood silent before Pilate (Matthew 27:11-14).
I noticed two things. The ruckus Jesus caused in the Temple was to ensure a space for all peoples. The silence before Pilate had to do with what others said about him. For me, I see Jesus as so certain of his purpose and his mission that what others thought about him was not his agenda. Offering freedom to everyone was what Jesus lived and died for. It was why he was resurrected from the dead--so that each of us may find freedom and the space to grow in that freedom.
John Adams? Ironically, he died on July 4, 1826.
July 3, 2023