July 4th 2015
Today we celebrate the birth of the most unique Nation in the history of man. A nation established not by a conqueror or a tyrant, but by the people themselves.
The central question in the history of the English-speaking peoples has been where power is to lie. Is it to be in the people and exercised through their elected representatives, or is it to be enjoyed by kings and emperors? Our Founding Fathers decided in favor of the people.
Some have called America “The Great Experiment,” asking if a people can govern themselves. With the Declaration of Independence the Founders risked their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor in pursuit of law and freedom. Soon thereafter they drafted a constitution—an amazing feat—for the first time in history a nation would be run not at the whims of a king, but on the principle of the “consent of the governed.”
With the establishment of our Nation a new people was born —the Americans; a people who, sometimes failed, but generally did their best to live according to the principles of the Founding.
Among the ancient Greeks when a man ran for public office one of the questions people asked was “How does he care for the graves of his ancestors?” Does he show appreciation and acknowledgement for those who came before? Does he recognize their sacrifices and achievements in building his city? This is what we gather today to do—to show our appreciation of the Founding Fathers. To acknowledge what they have given us—a nation prosperous and powerful beyond imagining.
However, even powerful nations fall when citizens stop looking back at the principles which made them successful. As Cicero said, “To be ignorant of what happened before you were born is to be ever a child.”
America is currently facing a number of significant challenges, with even bigger ones on the horizon. The best way to face and overcome these challenges is to sincerely remember those who came before and to adhere to the principles upon which they founded our Nation.
John Adams called this the “Day of Days.” On this day it is appropriate that we look back. As Christians each of us should commit to learn of the Founding Fathers. Learn of their ideas, their values, the books they read, and the times in which they lived.
Our challenge is to keep the “Great Experiment” going. Today is our opportunity to prove worthy of our heritage. To prove to ourselves, our children, all of mankind and especially to our God that we still believe in the principles of law, freedom and responsibility.
Thank you, and God Bless America!