Happy Independence Day!

Each year we host an open house for our church family.

Over the years, our 4th tradition has morphed a few times.  My extended family is seven generations in this town (with a few hiccups).  We always used to go to the parade; I was even in it once or twice.  For watching the parade, I have fond memories of the whole clan of us lined up on Main Street, surrounding Grandma and Grandpa.  But we don’t go any more, since they’re gone.  Partly because the parade has morphed, too: instead of pretty floats and fancy horses, it’s campaign buttons and advertisements.  Instead of clowns and candy, it’s attitude and agendas.

Years ago, I used to join my circle of friends at the center of a big bridge and watch the Big City parade from up there.

Then, a relative of mine used to own a business near the local fireworks display, so we had front-row seats.  But then he didn’t renew his lease.

After that (our daughters were still young), we had a few folks over to have treats and light fireworks in the street.

Then one year, somebody who’d been invited called me the next June, asking, “So—are we gonna do fireworks again?”  …And a tradition began.

So every 4th of July we gather with the people we love—and barbecue burgers, play lawn games, eat multiple desserts, enjoy the big fire pit, and light fireworks for the kids.

And usually something special happens.  Like tonight: in a time of reflection and prayer for our soldiers and our nation, several people sang our National Anthem.

……. Amen.

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