We are approaching our most important national holiday in a unique climate this year. At a time when every monument and memorial is being challenged, it seems appropriate to consider the reasons why people establish special celebrations and monuments to their shared history.
Throughout the Bible, from Jacob’s stone, the Altar at Jordan, through the Passover observance and the Lord’s Supper, God uses memorials to remind His people of who they are and WHOSE they are.
Living in the moment is a lovely idea, but without knowledge of what went before, we have no way to evaluate our present moments, no way to make wise decisions, we are at the mercy of our emotions and we lose sight of our life’s meaning.
We’ve all heard the adage that history is written by the victors. While those is power can certainly spin the record of events, there always remains evidence of the facts. Errors inevitably exist but wrongs eventually come to light. It is important not to deny these errors, but it is equally important not to attempt to change the past by wiping out every reminder of it.
Shared history, the good and the bad, binds a people together. Memorials and celebrations are there to help us remember, so we can build on the good and avoid repeating the bad.
This July fourth, Independence Day, the birthday of our nation, is a time to call a halt to the futile attempts to erase our country’s past and to remember how far we’ve come. The United States of America has never been a perfect nation, but we are a good one. We’ve overcome many of the mistakes of our past and, by the Grace of God, we will grow even better in the days and years ahead.