I looked forward to attending church service this weekend for the last month. We could finally gather for worship without making a reservation, sitting far away from each other, or wearing masks unless we wanted to.

We enjoyed lemonade after the service amid smiles and hugs all around. It felt like the family reunion it was. Love and joy surrounded us. We are a congregation of conservatives, liberals, and everything between, but none of that matters when we worship God and serve others. At Hope Church, folks remain friends despite politics or race as we work to spread “Hope in a world desperately in need of it.” Our Pastor commented that our differences make us a congregation and not a cult. For the life of me, I could not tell you for whom he voted in 2020, nor do I care.

“Church” is about love and spreading that love wherever we are. Helping strangers or neighbors in big and little ways  shout, “You are loved.”

I am convinced that if the universal Christian church rose to simply love outrageously, it would demolish the hate Satan is trying to spread here and abroad. Loving others through Christ does not require marches anywhere, petitioning Congress, or signing petitions (although good citizens do these things). His sacrifice on the Cross created His Kingdom on earth. I firmly believe it will stand when all other nations and kingdoms fall. Christ’s Kingdom reigns now, even while we wait for the day He returns and creates a new heaven and earth. It lies in the heart of every person who stands on Jesus, our Rock.

So I say, on this 4th of July, we celebrate an Independence Day that is superior to the one that founded our great nation. Loving fellowship frees us from Satan’s power and blesses us with  permanent peace and freedom.