First off … from Saint Johns, Newfoundland to Parliament Hill in Ottawa to Victoria, British Columbia … the citizens and residents of Canada celebrate their nation’s birthday each year on July first. This year, Canada celebrates the 148th anniversary of the Confederation of its provinces and territories.
On that date in 1867, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the Province of Canada were united into a single country. This union was a result of the Constitution Act which granted Canada a great deal of independence from England. The July 1 “birthday” holiday was established by statute in 1879, under the name “Dominion Day.” In 1982, the day was re-named “Canada Day”.
And, in the United States of America … it’s our 239th birthday! The Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, which declared that the thirteen American colonies then at war with Great Britain were now independent states, and thus no longer a part of the British Empire. Written primarily by Thomas Jefferson, the Declaration is a formal explanation of why Congress had voted on July 2nd to declare independence from Great Britain, more than a year after the outbreak of the Revolutionary War. While the day we celebrate is officially known as Independence Day … most of us call it the “4th of July.”
Let us here in North America rejoice in and celebrate our freedoms … especially our religious freedom . . . because, as we all recognize, it’s evident that the exercise of this freedom is being challenged more and more in a variety of ways.
At the same time, each of us needs to be in earnest prayer for our nation – whether the United States or Canada – and for its leaders … that they may do what’s right and be guided to make decisions that are just and right, and put the nation and its peoples ahead of self-interests. And, that our Lord will watch over us and keep our land safe and free of attack.