Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I hope you have a meaningful 4th of July celebration tomorrow.  This past week while driving I heard an essay by Dr. James Peterson on Frederick Douglass’ classic 1852 speech “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?”  Dr. Peterson’s essay and Douglass’ speech have caused me to ponder the meaning of my freedom.  In listening to Dr. James Earl Jones read this speech, this line stood out to, “The blessings in which you this day rejoice are not enjoyed in common.”  What was true in 1852 is still true today in many different ways.  It causes me to ponder my personal use of my freedom and what independence means today in light of our current moment in history.  I invite you to consider similar ponderings tomorrow and this weekend as one way to celebrate the 4th of July.    

On Sunday, we’ll continue our series on “Grasping God’s Word!”  This Sunday we’ll be studying Ephesians 6:5-9.  It seems appropriate that we deal with this biblical passage that was used by many to support the institution of American slavery in light of the current moment and our 4th of July Celebration.  As Phil Ebersol wrote in his blog, “Some people have said that the American Civil War was our great national tragedy.  No, the fact of slavery, which made the Civil War inevitable, was our great national tragedy.” 

As we engage Ephesians 6:5-9 we’ll explore its historical / cultural background and literary context.  By doing so, we’ll experience once again the truth that there is no favoritism with God.

Pastor Dave