Independence for Whom!
The United States of America adopted the Declaration of Independence July 4, 1776, which declared the original colonies freedom from British rule. Although July 4th was recognized and celebrated since then, it did not become a Federal Holiday until U.S. Congress passed legislation in 1941 establishing July 4th as a Federal Holiday.
Preamble to the Declaration of Independence declares: 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.
Although Africans (mostly slaves) had been in this country since its onset, the “truths and freedom” outlined in the Declaration of Independence did not extend to them. Freedom did not become a reality for African American slaves until almost 100 years later when President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. However, African American slaves in Texas did not learn of their “freedom” until June 19, 1865 – two years five months later! Hence, many African Americans today celebrate Juneteenth as their day of freedom!
Freedom acknowledged by July 4th and Juneteenth (19) are designated by man! True and lasting freedom from all things and for all people is only obtained through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Only He provides eternal freedom from the power of sin; freedom from the guilt and punishment of sin; and freedom from the presence of sin.
Live through the confines, limits and difficulties of this physical life knowing that Christ Jesus has already provided forward eternal life wherein we will shout “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God Almighty, we’re Free at last!
James S. Hall Jr., Pastor