Independence Day

Over the years I’ve had many opportunities to participate in community theatre productions.  While in Flint I was able to be a part of the musical 1776.  I played John Hancock, the first signer of the Declaration of Independence.  When the 4th of July rolls around each year I think of that musical and the historyof our beginning as a nation.  I am grateful for such men as John Hancock, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Richard Henry Lee and John Adams.  The labor pains of independence were agonizing and yet the birthed nation has now served as a beacon for freedom for 234 years.

The Fourth of July is also known as Independence Day.  We look forward to the fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, political speeches and cermonies.  This year July 4 falls on a Sunday.  The first time that July 4 as a holiday fell on a Sunday was 1779.  That year the holiday was celebrated on Monday, July 5.

It is a good day to remember the founding values of our nation and to make a pledge to renew our commitment to those values.  We look at our national flag and think of the progression that we have experienced with stars being added as a new state joined the Union.  We hear the “Star Spangled Banner” and think of the conflicts that we have endured for the sake of liberty.  The 4th of July is an emotional day calling us to reclaim our passion for the virtues for which our country stands, a day when we stand up as a citizen of this nation.  It is a day of goose bumps and pride-filled chests.

If this is the day that excites us about our being United States citizens, what is it that excites us about being Nardin Park citizens?  On Pentecost we clothed ourselves in garments of red, held a picnic and rejoiced in the guiding of God’s spirit at this church. 

During our Vacation Bible School green became our color as we looked at being good stewards of our world.  The closing program on Thursday night was a giant festive occasion complete with a musical program and pizza!  As one VBS mother said to another, “I take my kids to a lot of VBS programs, but this one is the best!” 

Last Sunday we commissioned our 21 member ASP (Appalachian Service Project) Mission team all clad in their dark blue t-shirts as they prepare to go Tennessee for the 32nd annual ASP trip.  The Team took a pledge before the congregation to be the eyes through which Christ sees, the mouths through which Christ speaks, the hearts through which Christ loves, and the hands through which Christ works.  What a wonderful witness they are to our faith!

Every day there are people of Nardin Park who stand tall for their faith.  I am grateful for every one of them.  We need to renew our commitment to the values and virtues of our faith, alive and well at Nardin Park.  We need to stand up and volunteer to make ministry happen at Nardin Park.  We need to make sure our financial pledge is up to date or that our monetary giving doesn’t fade.  Currently we are over $40,000 in “the red.”  There are citizens of Nardin Park who haven’t made a single contribution to their church this year.  We need to support the incredible ministries of this church.  We are citizens of the Kingdom of God and we are proud of our citizenship.

So, as we experience the 4th of July fireworks, let’s make sure that the fireworks of God keeps brightening the skies of Nardin Park!