Happy 4th!

Without moments to celebrate unity and camaraderie, it makes it all the harder, even impossible, to talk about disagreements and past hurts. Celebrating our community at times is part of taking the issues we have more seriously not less.Odens on the 4th of July bike parade

It builds trust, it offers thanksgiving (a Biblical mandate), and it gets us out and about among the wonderfully diverse others who are celebrating.

That’s why I love how Christianity has long been in the business of redeeming not dismissing holidays of all sorts. Celebrate! Pray! Be the community you dream we can be!

The impulse to freedom is something to celebrate. The statements of human rights, the drive to give people a voice and a chance is a goal worth pressing on. We’re not celebrating a fixed land, a set of rulers or other outside force.

We’re celebrating an ideal and we’re celebrating each other, our friends, our neighbors, our families. We are the people, and it’s we who press on in shaping who we are to be today and who we are leading our children to be in the future.

I’m thankful for those who have given me and so many others, from so many different histories and places, a chance to work on this together.  I want to be someone who helps others find their freedoms, and their voices, and their callings. That’s why I celebrate today.

Happy 4th of July!

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