Ah yes, the 4th of July. The day to celebrate America is filled with sweat, sunscreen, and any dessert that looks like an American flag.
Independence Day symbolizes the freedom our country gained so many years ago, and allows us to reflect on the freedoms we often take for granted. It is also fascinating to see how the theme of freedom is found in literature. It can refer to literal freedom from slavery, freedom from physical ailments, or any other form of oppression. Even as far back as Biblical times, freedom was at the forefront of humanity’s desires.
Freedom from Oppression: Where the Wind Leads by Vihn Chung
Where the Wind Leads
follows Vinh Chung and his family on their desperate journey from pre-war Vietnam. Through pirate attacks on a lawless sea, to a miraculous rescue and a new home in the unlikely town of Fort Smith, Arkansas, the Chung family endured. There, Vinh struggled against poverty, discrimination, and a bewildering language barrier—yet still managed to graduate from Harvard Medical School. Where the Wind Leads
is Vinh’s tribute to the courage and sacrifice of his parents. He serves as a reminder to people everywhere that the American dream, while still possible, carries with it a great responsibility.
Freedom from Slavery: Row for Freedom by Julia Immonen
Julia Immonen is the founder of Sport for Freedom, and anti-human trafficking charity based in London. But in late 2010, she and a team of friends began to ROW ACROSS THE ATLANTIC OCEAN. No experience. No motor or sail. It was just their arms and legs in an itty, bitty boat to raise awareness for the tragedy of human trafficking. Julia's story of perseverance shows what one person can do to fight for the thirty million victims of the modern-day slave trade.
Freedom from Deception: The Bible - John 8 & Galatians 5
John 8 is where you’ll find the well-known verse that says “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8: 31-32, Open Bible
). This speaks of a freedom from the deception that often bombards us. Maybe its comparison telling you that you’re not enough, or challenging circumstances telling you to give up. There are so many voices out there that can deceive us.
Galatians 5 reiterates the importance of spiritual and mental freedom by saying that we “have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13, Open Bible
). Essentially, everyone is called to seek freedom from the negative influences in the world and combat it by living out love.
Take some time this July 4th to reflect not only on the freedom of independence we have in America, but the other freedoms we often take for granted in our lives.
Do you have a favorite story that shows the spirit of Independence Day? Let us know!
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