Hello New Life,

My family and I were in Boston this past week and we bumped into the Freedom Trail. We walked through Faneuil Hall, “The Cradle of Liberty,” and also saw the balcony from which the Declaration of Independence was publicly read in Boston on July 18, 1776. The first public reading had been ten days earlier in Philadelphia. Every time the Declaration of Independence was read publicly it galvanized people to the cause of freedom and reaffirmed the authors' and signers' commitment. A commitment that is summed up in the closing line of the Declaration that reads, “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

I am privileged in 2024 to know the outcome of this Declaration, to have been born into the liberty and freedoms that it outlined and pursued.  This week, our nation celebrates when this Declaration was adopted on July 4, 1776.  Many people forget and think it’s a celebration of our victory over the British - but it is not.  It is a celebration not of the end but of the beginning.  Having stood in Boston this week I was reminded of just how significant that beginning was.  They didn’t read it once and move on. They read it over and over in new cities all throughout the 13 Colonies.  Every time, declaring the names of the 56 signers who pledged their lives, their fortunes, and sacred Honor for the cause of this new nation.

When I think of all this, I can’t help but remember Christ, who not only pledged his life, fortune, and sacred Honor but gave it all.  Not for a new nation but a new people; a priesthood of believers.  A people who, “no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.” 2 Cor 5:15b

As you partake in 4th of July festivities this week, I invite you to remember not only those who pledged so much for our national liberty but the One who gave everything for our eternal liberty.  “So if the Son sets you free, you really will be free.” ~John 8:36

Jay Bennett
On Behalf of the Elder & Minister Team