Two hundred and forty-five years ago, the Continental Congress met in Philadelphia to discuss what to do about the oppressive policies of the British government. In June 1776, they made the difficult decision to break away from Great Britain. They appointed a committee to write a document to send to the British government, a document that would declare their independence.
On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress approved the document, written mainly by young committee member Thomas Jefferson.
The men who wrote the Declaration of Independence and the men who ratified it were heroes. Yes, they were far from perfect. They knew they weren’t perfect. They were, like us, a mixture, but their words have inspired both Americans and people around the world.
The Declaration of Independence didn’t immediately make everyone free. First, Americans fought and won the American Revolutionary War. It was an astounding victory. Then, Americans wrote the U.S. Constitution and founded a free government that has also been an inspiration around the world.
The Declaration of Independence was the spark of an idea that led to more and more freedom that spread to more and more people over the last 245 years.
July 4 is a day to celebrate America’s brave beginning and a day to commit ourselves to continuing the ideals spoken so well in the Declaration of Independence, including this one:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers,
intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—
for kings and all those in authority,
that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
1 Timothy 2:1-2