Zis-N-Zat From Pastor Asher

God is my conscience, Jesus lives in my heart… this blog is about what I see, what I think, what I do and how I serve God

Approximate Notes for Sunday’s Message; Independence Day; July 4, 2017

July 2 is the closest Sunday to United States’ Independence Day. Our worship service will reflect this National Holy Day.  We will also celebrate the Sacrament of the Holy Communion.

Scriptures for this Sunday: Galatians 5:1, 13-15, with supporting text from 1 Peter 2:11-17

You can read these Scriptures here: {NIV and ESV}

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The American Revolution, its events and its ethos has become part of our national and cultural DNA.

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The textbook answer as to why the American Revolution happened is:

  1. The cultural and economic differences between the Colonists and the British reached critical mass.

  2. Unequal Mercantile Laws meant colonists had to pay much more for the same products that the British could get fairly cheaply.

  3. Taxes were oppressive from the Colonists’ point of view because they were forced to fund and house British troops, who viewed them with contempt and, by and large, did not want to be stationed in the colonies (The Massacre of 1770 and the Boston Tea Party).

This list describes some of the socio-economic and political reasons for why the revolution happened, and why the thirteen colonies declared their independence from England.

This list can be found in any American history textbook, it is parochial in nature and it does not even come close to explaining why the Revolution, Declaration of Independence and Revolutionary War took place.

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We tend to romanticize the past. The movie The Patriot is 2 hours and 45 mins long. Very few Americans can watch the movie without feeling emotions stir deep within our souls. In 2 hours and 45 minutes we relive the events of the revolution, we witness the epic personal struggles, the story of loss, resilience and personal renewal and reinvention. Years of struggle are compressed into 2 hours and 45 minutes.

What we DO NOT experience watching the movie is the horrors of war, the smell of burned buildings and burned flesh, the smell of rotting flesh on battlefields, we do not feel the flea and bug bites on our bodies, we do not live through hunger, cold winters, and hot summers. We do not live through monotony, the ups and downs of war.

When the colonists took up arms and made a decision to fight for independence, I suspect that the cultural and socio-economic differences between them and their British cousins were not the deciding factor. Nobody would willingly put themselves in harm’s way because of unfair mercantile laws.

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That brings me to the question, “Why do Revolutions happen?”

  1. Have you ever seen your friends, neighbors and loved ones humiliated and treated as second class citizens, powerless to do anything about it?

  2. Have you ever gone to bed knowing that the person whom you said goodnight to may not be there in the morning because they could be arrested on a whim, their lives destroyed?

  3. Have you ever faced the possibility of losing everyone and everything that you love and believe to be right, true and beatiful, because you have no rights and no say in what happens to you.

I think that revolutions happen when these conditions become a reality of life, when people lose hope and have nothing else to lose. Revolutions do not happen because some intellectuals decide to make few changes. Revolutions do not happen because of “Thomas Jeffersons,” or “Benjamin Franklins,” or “George Washingtons.” (note the quotes).

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On Tuesday, our country will celebrate Independence Day. The truth is that it is easy to wave a flag in the air and call yourself a patriot. It is easy to put a bumper sticker on your bumper. It is easy to put your hand over your heart and pledge allegiance to the flag. Those are outward manifestations of our feelings towards our country.

America is more than just a catchphrase on a bumper sticker. Being an American is more than enjoying an Independence Day Parade. Being an American is about liberty. Being an American is about freedom. Being an American is not just a political slogan, it is a way of life. Being an American is about personal responsibility. Being an American is about coming together under the guidance of God, recognizing what is not working, and then figuring out what needs to be done to fix it.

As we prepare to celebrate Independence Day 2017, our nation is divided. But I have no doubt in my mind that we will get through this. Our nation has done it before and we will do it again. When push comes to shove, we know how to come together, work together, how to put our minds and souls together and solve problems. It is in our DNA.

This Independence Day I want to encourage all of us to take the time to thank God for the freedom we have in this country. I also want to encourage you to step back and consider the freedom that Jesus has given you through the example of his life, his death on the Cross, and his resurrection. Let us all thank God together for this amazing freedom and promise.

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NIV2010 Galatians 5: 1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

NIV2010 Galatians 5: 13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

May God bless each and every one of us,

and

May God bless the United States of America!

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