Many of Heartlight's readers are not from the United States. They often carry a different perspective on world events than those from the U.S. However, on issues of faith, we share deep bonds that transcend our geographical boundaries, primary languages, skin color, and national allegiances. We all know the high cost of our freedom as children of God. The recent release of The Passion of the Christ has once again confronted us very graphically with this incredible cost to God himself. Our freedom came at a huge price.
The early followers of Jesus didn't have a yearly celebration to mark this event. Instead, they celebrated their Independence Day each week. From all indications, the first followers of Jesus shared in the Lord's Supper as a gathered group at least every first day of the week. (Acts 2:42-46; Acts 20:7; cf. 1 Corinthians 10:16-17; 1 Corinthians 11:17-34) This day of remembrance became known as the Lord's Day among believers by the end of the first century. (Revelation 1:9-10) During The Supper, Christians remembered the Lord's death on the day of the Lord's victory over death and they anticipated the Lord's return and liberation from a world of decay and death. (Romans 8:18-25; cf. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) As they shared in this special time, they also recognized that they were the Body of Christ in the world; his people called to live his life for the world. They were challenged to recognize that each person in Christ's Body is vital to it actually functioning as the presence of Jesus in the broken world. They were reminded that their ultimate allegiance was to a higher calling and a heavenly community that is more important than national and ethnic allegiances (Philippians 3:20-21) and they anticipated the celebration that awaits when all of earthly differences are lost in the wonder and praise of heaven itself. (Revelation 7:9)
*For a careful review of what the signers faced and paid for signing the Declaration of Independence and supporting the revolutionary war, many documents and opinions are available. As a place to begin, see a researched analysis by Mark Dixon.