By Del Duduit
Do you need a reason to celebrate the 4th of July?
After all, if you have watched the news since the November election, you would think the USA is headed down the tubes. All hope is lost, some media outlets would have you believe.
It seems like many reports we have been exposed to from some of the media have been trying to tear down the reputation of the United States. Several members of the press have made it their personal mission to try to destroy President Trump’s image while crazed people are now shooting at our Republican congressmen. So-called comedians, actors, and entertainers have shown nothing less than treason. They just need to shut up or leave.
Personally, I find it so refreshing President Trump is not apologizing for our country, but rather he is demonstrating why we are the No. 1 world power. The stock market is on the rise, and American pride and responsibility are making a comeback. I’m also proud we stand with Israel once again!
As we approach the 4th of July, I’m ready for some good old-fashioned festivities. I’m ready for hot dogs, baseball, and apple pie. I’m also ready for the Rubyville Community Church fireworks display. This is my church, and it is located in rural Southern Ohio in Scioto County. It puts on quite the patriotic celebration — and it makes no apologies.
Fireworks at church? Why not?
Rubyville Community is a non-denominational church of about 565 people. It started out more than three decades ago with about 70 members. It puts on a fireworks demonstration celebrating the 4th which is bigger and better than displays in some large cities. The volunteers from the church, one is my oldest son, must be certified by the state and attend regular training. This tradition started out in my in-laws’ backyard 30 years ago with a few friends and some modest fireworks. It grew larger and had to move to the church where I helped with the annual display for many years.
It kept growing and people started coming from all over the area to watch. After a few years, I retired and now watch as it takes place on top of the large hill behind the church so an estimated 10,000 people can see. It has become so large that state highway patrol officers and sheriff deputies must attend to direct traffic in the tiny community.
A patriotic service is always held on that same evening, and my father-in-law delivers his annual rendition of I am the Spirit of America, a poem he recites while dressed as Uncle Sam. He’s done this for years, and it never gets old.
Veterans are honored, and hymns dedicated to America are proudly sung. I thank God I live in the United States, and I wish everyone who lives here shared my opinion. But sadly, some don’t. I’m glad our church recognizes the sacrifices our military has made for me and my family.
Fireworks at a church? Why not? WE as Christians and Americans have a reason to celebrate.
“Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds.” Psalms 149:5
Celebrate? Yes, the Lord instructed us to be happy. To sing and dance. He set us free from bondage. He sent his Son to die on a rugged cross for our sins so we can have eternal life.
Now a little history about July 4th – also known as Independence Day. It’s been a national holiday since 1941. However, the tradition goes back to the 18th Century and the American Revolution. On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later, delegates from 13 colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence from a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson. From that day on, July 4 has been celebrated as the birth of America, with festivities ranging from fireworks, parades, and concerts to modest family gatherings.
Celebrate? Yes, our founding fathers gave us life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. As long as America keeps honoring God, He will return the favor.
“Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase.” Proverbs 3:9
Fireworks at a church? Yes, it’s a magnificent way to minister.
On Sunday night, there will be thousands of people in this little Southern Ohio Valley. They begin lining the parking lot at about 2 p.m. and parking in fields and on the sides of the highway, or anywhere they can to get a good view. Speakers are set up outside so those seeking the perfect spot are exposed to the Sunday night service. After church and refreshments, the fireworks start and are synchronized to Gospel music. Our assistant pastor Brian takes care of that and works hard with John the sound man to pull it off. The visitors are treated as special guests – but at the same time, they hear a sermon and are invited to accept the Lord as their savior before the night is over.
If someone accepts the invitation, which has happened, isn’t that reason to celebrate?
A few years ago, a man was led to the Lord in our pastor’s driveway before the fireworks. That person received liberation and experienced a true Independence Day.
Now here is a little reminder of why Christians should celebrate.
Jesus Christ was born of a virgin and lived a perfect life. He was tried and convicted of crimes he did not commit. He was crucified on a cross for our sins, and His body was placed in a borrowed tomb. Three days later, He arose and went to Heaven to prepare a place for you and me. He conquered death, hell, and the grave to give life forever to those who ask for forgiveness and follow Him.
Celebrate? Yes, our Heavenly Father has set us free.
“If the Son, therefore, shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” John 8:36
Celebrate? Yes, our founding fathers and military have allowed us to be free as a nation.
That’s all the reason we need to celebrate. Come on out on July 2 and attend the best patriotic worship service you will ever find. It’s not called Red, White, and Rubyville for nothing.
What does Independence Day mean to you?
Thanks to Kevin Craft for the photos.