The year is 1774 and tension is growing in the American Colonies resulting from political crack down by the British Crown. With the Boston Tea party still fresh on their minds, December 1773, the British authorities are now enforcing the Intolerable Acts to tie the colonist’s hands politically and economically. King George decides to send in additional troops and place them under the command and control of General Thomas Gage. The Colonists see this a breach of boundaries and organize to push back against Gen Gage, his troops, and ultimately the British Crown. After a series of skirmishes, the opportunity finally came. It’s mid-April 1775 in Boston and British and Colonial troops meet at the Battles of Lexington and Concord. History does not tell us who fired the infamous “shot heard around the world” but we do know that this significant battle marked the beginning of the American Revolution and the world was taking notice.
It is now spring 1776 and the location is Independence Hall, Philadelphia. Representatives from the colonies had gathered to discuss what would become of the nation after the revolution. At the heart of the discussion was the Declaration of Independence written by Thomas Jefferson. The colonist never intended to separate from the British crown but events prior to and during the revolution changed their thought process. Their reasoning is evident in the opening statements of the text. “When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands that connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Law’s of Nature and Nature’s God entitle them...”. The text was infused with the philosophical idea “...that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights...”. This was considered radical at the time and for obvious reasons. The Declaration of Independence asserted that the King of England was, in short, no more or less than the people he ruled. This ideology, the Declaration itself, and the Revolutionary War had far reaching influences long after this time had passed and was even the source of inspiration for other revolutions that soon followed.
Jesus declared in Luke 4:18 – 19 that “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” Much like the Battles of Lexington and Concord in Boston in early 1774 the world is watching us. We must continue to proclaim God’s truth in our world and bring, not necessarily political freedom, but spiritual freedom that can only be truly found and felt in God.
Happy 242 Independence Day