Sunday, May 29, 2011
Maybe a Little More Solemnity With All These Hot Dogs
I like seeing family and enjoying good food and the celebration of being alive and so forth and whatnot.
And i like it even more because i know that God likes celebration. Every time you turn around in the Bible, God is designating another holiday. He's cool like that.
Thing is, i think we do too much celebrating and not enough consideration of why we're celebrating.
God's model for celebration often starts with fasting -- then feasting. The fasting time, for getting your heart in the right place and realizing what it is you celebrate, and so on.
I find it interesting that the two American holidays which mark the deaths of those who gave their lives for our freedom, are taken the most casually, often with hamburgers and hot dogs and swimming pools, but rarely with any consideration for what it is we often fail to hold dear. Our freedom.
I heard a speech by a man i'd never heard of, this week. His name is Dennis Prager. He is a Jewish man, who is an American and a scholar and a radio host and a lot of other things. I had never paid any attention to him before, but i happened to hear this speech, and i became at least a tentative fan. Anyway, in his speech, he mentioned how he thought that Americans should treat Independence Day kind of like Jews treat Passover. They are both a celebration of the gift of freedom. But at Passover, time is taken to remember the suffering of those who did not have that freedom - and how they were delivered. This information and tradition is passed from generation to generation, and has been for thousands of years, so the children don't forget.
Sadly, when Americans celebrate their freedom, they usually just grill meat and sink a lot of money into fireworks. Their children have very little notion what this is all about. They especially have very little notion of what it was like for those who did not have our freedoms. And thus, less than 250 years after the fact, our population seems to not hold our freedom so dear. I would like to think of a way to bring a little more solemnity to our celebrations of freedom. I'm not sure how yet. I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas and traditions.
I thank God for the thousands who gave their lives, thinking of me. Believing that freedom for their country outweighed the value of their individual lives, thousands and thousands of men and women have died to invest in the freedom of you and me. Thank you to every soldier and every American who gave and who gives to preserve liberty. Thank you to every one who has lost a loved one to the cause of freedom.
A Happy and Solemn and Peaceful Memorial Day to you.