Today is the 4th of July!
It’s also called Independence Day, celebrating the Declaration of Independence, which was ratified by the Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776.
My schedule on the 4th of July is packed: Bike ride in the morning, picnic in the afternoon, and fireworks in the evening. I usually do not write an Interruption on the 4th of July since it is Independence Day – I take the day off. (For those curious, I’m writing this Interruption on June 23rd.)
We become what we celebrate. This is an undergirding idea behind worship in the Bible.
The idols of the nations are silver and gold, the work of human hands . . . Those who make them become like them, so do all who trust in them (Psalm 135:15, 18, ESV).
I’m a patriot. I believe in God and country, along with the Bible and Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I recognize all of what I just mentioned is often attacked today as archaic and representative of oppression.
Okay, Pastor Grant, this is a holiday; we are going to a picnic and then fireworks. Calm down.
I will, but first, the next few sentences: We become what we celebrate. My life is ultimately not about patriotism but loyalty to Jesus. It’s about living righteously no matter the whims of culture. I want to become like Jesus Christ, for His glory to become my glory.
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another (2 Corinthians 3:18).
Whew. I had to say that. Now, let’s dwell on hot dogs.
One of the great 4th of July American traditions is Nathan’s© Hot Dog Eating Contest held at Coney Island in Brooklyn. This celebration first started in 1916 with someone eating 13 hotdogs and buns. The record was set in 2021, with Joey Chestnut eating 76 hot dogs and buns in ten minutes.
Yes, some progressive wins are good for America!
Lots to contemplate in the idea of eating 76 hotdogs in ten minutes, including Tums©, and miracles still happening today! When I say that we become what we celebrate, it does have its limit, as Joey Chestnut looks nothing like a Nathan’s© hot dog.
Celebration on a day of rest is God’s idea.
The Bible opens with God resting and closes with the Marriage Feast of the Lamb. The nation of Israel was instructed to celebrate feasts, and the Church worships God with the Lord’s Supper.
I think all of us should be grateful today for Jesus, for living in a country that does have an Independence Day, and for our families. When we stop celebrating these things, what will we become?
But I’m going to be positive today, I’m celebrating the good.
Let me conclude my 4th of July Interruption by saying that I don’t think Nathan’s© Hot Dogs will be served at the Marriage Feast of the Lamb, but you can watch today’s contest on ESPN at 10:45 a.m. (EDT).