In the light of Independence Day, we consider the freedom we celebrate as Americans, and the great hope it takes to work out these freedoms and grow as “one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
The 4th of July commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 when our country took an official stand for our own freedom, affirming that, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
This was the beginning of a long journey to which we now belong as Americans, an adventure in hope and courage, challenging our compassion and resolve. Do we remember to be ever grateful for our freedom? Do we recognize our responsibility to love our neighbor as ourselves, and see that love involves helping others to experience the same freedom we’ve been given? There is the freedom of democracy, but the Old Testament Psalmist sings of an even deeper spiritual freedom: “Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free.” (Psalm 118)
National freedom. Spiritual freedom. All freedom requires hope. To call out in distress and hope to be answered… “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see,” says Hebrews 11:1.
To be American is to be hopeful. Our country was founded on the idea that we could come together in spite of our differences, innovate, grow; make the world a better, more beautiful place for everyone.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said in The Trumpet of Conscience, “If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all. And so today I still have a dream.”
What dream do you have today? What is your hope for our country? For your town? For your family? We want to hear from you. Tag us on Instagram or Facebook @rootandvinenews with the hashtag #reasonstohope
And join us Tuesday, July 6 at 3pm ET for an Instagram Live conversation on hope and freedom.
We’ve been writing the Book of Hope together for 27 weeks now, but it’s never to late to join us. Here’s all you need to get started.