Admit it. You like the fireworks best. Especially the ones you get to set off yourself. Especially if you’re a guy.
Not me. I had a rocket shoot right next to my lawn chair at the beach one 4th of July, so I embrace the barbecue, swimming, and hanging-out-with-family-and-friends part of the day. And I like the parades.
All countries have a celebration day where the founding of that nation is honored. Perhaps it is the day they won their freedom from an oppressive ruler. Or it is the day they officially formed their government. The 4th of July is that day for us Americans.
But our national celebration day is minor to what is coming. Simply a rehearsal.
For my nation, like every nation, consists of people who wear a national identity designed to uniquely give God glory. We wear red, white, and blue. Sing our national anthem. Tell the stories of God in the forming of our nation. And dream of when we will join all nations, people groups, and languages to gather before God’s throne.
For a day is coming when all the glory of the nations will be laid before the Lord.
It’s a God celebration
Someday in eternity future all the different kingdoms will gather to honor the One who bought our freedom. Everyone from the pathways of time will be there from Adam and Eve forward.
As you walk through the crowds you’ll hear every form of worship music ever offered to God. Every worship song. Every instrument. Every musician. Every minstrel. Every worship leader. All of them joining in the songs of the Spirit composed throughout the ages.
And new songs. Lots of new songs.
Look for the dancers reflecting their nationality in their dance. And the artists with their creative reflections of the Lord’s glory. And oh, the wonderful smells of food prepared by those who would offer their delights for this God celebration.
Laughter. Joy. Fireworks like you’ve never seen before. (OK, so I’m not totally sure about the fireworks, but I’m pretty sure. God likes to celebrate, and what’s a celebration without fireworks!)
Folks will picnic along the banks of the River of Life before they make their way up to the great throne of God. Kids will splash in its water.
Every race and people group will carry palm branches. Flags from every country that ever existed will lead the processions.
And when all have arrived at that great throne, we will raise a thunderous shout; “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”
All to honor the One who makes us free
After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb” (Revelation 7:9-10 NIV).
I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it (Revelation 21:22-26, NIV).
Enjoy your 4th of July. But remember, it’s only a practice session for the God celebration of freedom that awaits us.
By the way. I’m headed out for a family gathering at my sister’s pool. I’m so looking forward to seeing how all the little ones have grown. What are you doing to celebrate this 4th of July?
“Jesus likes it when we share.” -Adelaide, age 3: Pass this along to everybody and their brother. OK, maybe not everybody’s brother, but you know . . . all of your friends would be nice.