â€œThe LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.â€ (Isaiah 61:1)
â€œPhiladelphia, July 5, 1777. My dear Daughter: Yesterday being the anniversary of American Independence, was celebrated here with a festivity and ceremony becoming the occasion . . . The thought of taking any notice of this day was not conceived until the second of this month, and it was not mentioned until the third. It was too late to have a sermon, as every one wished, so this must be deferred another yearâ€ (John Adams, from Adams Family Correspondence: June 1776â€“March 1778, 274).
John Adams made two observations that should be remembered today. First, the idea of â€œtaking any noticeâ€ of the significance of the day was â€œnot conceivedâ€ for some time, and second, â€œevery one wishedâ€ to hear a sermon rather than hold a celebration. We have come far!
But note the Creatorâ€™s idea of independence. The text in Isaiah 61 is what the Lord Jesus quoted in the synagogue in Nazareth as He assumed His public ministry. â€œThis day,â€ Jesus declared, â€œis this scripture fulfilled in your earsâ€ (Luke 4:21). Godâ€™s great liberty is of the spirit and of the mind, not merely of the land and the national population. The independence of Christ will heal the brokenhearted. It grants deliverance to the â€œcaptivesâ€ and new sight to the blind. The liberty of the King of kings and the Creator of the ends of the earth will set at liberty the bruised.
Be grateful and celebrate the wonderful liberty that God has granted the United States. But pray, â€œThy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. . . . For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amenâ€ (Matthew 6:10, 13). HMM III