This day, July 4, is an official feast day in the Episcopal Church, although it is not often officially observed. Folks are off at the lake, or firing up the grill, or making fireworks plans. It doesn't feel like a very "spiritual" day.
Yet freedom, true freedom, not some sloganized, flag-waving kind of freedom, is at the heart of the gospel. "For freedom Christ has set us free," Paul writes to the Galatians. It is a freedom of a different sort, not a "do what you want," but the freedom that comes after fully accepting the yoke of Christ, letting his vision, his direction, his compassion, take over your entire life.
So celebrate the independence of our nation today, but think a little more deeply about the freedom that comes once you have given up your self and thrown yourself completely into the loving arms of God.