Bring fo(u)rth freedom (in which I consider a better reason to celebrate)

Friday. Fourth of July. This date couldn’t fall on a better day. Because, you know, Friday. The weekend. Stuff. Duh.

Rejoice! Be glad! We are a nation of freedoms (an increasingly debatable point). We are a nation of prosperity (also debatable, depending on one’s definition of that slippery term). We are a nation of rugged individualism that celebrates the self-made and the successful (indeed).

I do love a good BBQ, parade, and fireworks display – and also waving those little stiffly starched flags.

But so much more than that do I love freedom. Freedom. Freedom from brokenness. Freedom from hopelessness. Freedom from darkness. Freedom from self-centeredness. Freedom from self, period.

If you set aside time today to read any important historical national documents about the true significance of this national holiday (and let’s see now, who wouldn’t set aside time for that, between the BBQs, the parades, and the fireworks, hmm?) – and even if you don’t – please do set aside time today to read another short, brilliant, piercing lyric that celebrates the freedom that really matters.

Psalm 32 (CKirgiss)
Psalm 32 (CKirgiss)

Celebrate forgiveness – for confessed sin is set aside, put out of sight, erased, blotted out.

Celebrate righteousness – for those who are forgiven are cleared of guilt, washed clean, made new.

Celebrate a powerful Lord – who is our hiding place, our protection, our glorious song of victory.

Celebrate a wise God – who reveals the best path for life, advises us, watches over us.

Celebrate a loving Father – whose unfailing love surrounds those who trust him with pure hearts.

In truth, it matters little that today is Friday or that today is July 4th. What matters is that today is today, and so all God’s children can, and should, celebrate.

Rejoice! Shout for joy! The Lord reigns supreme, and we are made free.

"Unfailing love surrounds those who hearts are pure." (CKirgiss)
“Unfailing love surrounds those who hearts are pure.” (CKirgiss)


It’s Friday, Friday, Friday (or: some real reasons to rejoice)

If you haven’t heard Rebecca Black’s 2011 song “Friday,” let me offer a condensed version:

Friday, Friday, Friday, Friday, Friday (etc.)
Weekend, weekend, weekend, weekend, weekend (etc.)
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah (etc.)
Partyin’, partyin’, partyin’, partyin’, partyin’ (etc.)
Fun, fun, fun, fun, fun (etc.)

These are (cough) the important reasons to be happy when Friday arrives yeah yeah fun fun yeah.

Well, today is Friday.

And so I rejoice (which has no direct relation to feeling happy), but not because of weekend partyin’ fun oo-ooh-ooh hoo-yeah yeah (that last little bit is straight from the official lyric sheet).

I rejoice because of things that can’t be measured (and things that can be measured but aren’t by those who have grown accustomed to them) – because of things that are mundane (but are in fact miraculous, especially for those who rarely or never experience them) – because of things that are overlooked (at least by those who see them on a regular basis) – because of things that simply are (except when they aren’t, which is far too often in far too many places).

Tonight I will sleep on a comfortable bed, covered with blankets, in a warm room, under a functioning roof.

This evening I will eat fresh food, sitting at a table, drinking clean water, in the company of others.

Farmer's MarketFarmer's MarketFarmer's Market
Purdue Farmer's Market (Photos: CKirgiss)

This afternoon I will drive away from my job, on paved roads, alongside river and fields, towards my home.

Flowered FieldFlowered Field
River Road (Photos: CKirgiss)

Each and every day – including Friday – I have clothes to wear, water to bathe in, air to breathe, food to eat, books to read, people to love, hope for tomorrow, and grace beyond measure.

It is, indeed, Friday. And it is worth celebrating for the same thousand reasons that every other day is worth celebrating – because in the midst of brokenness, suffering, despair, pain, sorrow, fear, heartache, loneliness, worry, and death there is love, life, hope, healing, restoration, comfort, encouragement, beauty, grace, and Jesus.

Truly. It is as complicated and simple as that.