Yesterday, we had our freedom celebration (Fourth of July service). We had patriotic hymns and a video featuring pictures of family members who serve in the military, police, and fire departments followed by an old fashion picnic with American staples minus the apple pie. I wonder why nobody brought apple pie, we had hot dogs but no apple pie. I must look into that oversight.
I preached on the text from Romans 13 focusing on love is the fulfillment of the law. I worked on drawing the picture for people that love is not a nebulous feeling but an expression founded in sacrifice. However, we as sinful people are self-centered and when we are acting self-centered we are not going to make the sacrifice needed to express love and thus we will not experience love. For the law part I brought in the fact that if we love Christ we are going to show it by loving our neighbors drawing on the passage from Matthew 25 "that which you do to the least of these you do to me." My gospel handle was that Jesus took this message to heart and that he died for the benefit of the least of all. Then for some sanctification lessons I encouraged the people to turn to Christ to be the source of love by which they will love their neighbors.
Did your congregation do anything for the Fourth of July? If so what did you do?