I grew up on School House Rock. Now if you are a child of the 70’s you will no doubt remember learning all sorts of great history, grammar, and mathematics while watching your Saturday morning cartoons over a bowl of Cap’N Crunch, Quisp, or Alphabits (see 70’s breakfast cereals on the Interwebs for a trip down memory lane). Those short, educational cartoons that arrived between commercials for toys like Stretch Armstrong and Spirograph taught us valuable information in a fun way. Do you know that I can still quote the entire pre-amble to the Constitution? If you hear me pause in strange places while reciting it’s because I am going over the tune to the song in my head as I say it. Setting the learning to music and using colorful images made a lifetime impression on me. I still find myself using those catchy tunes to count by 3’s or to remember the rules for using conjunctions. One of the most memorable of the bunch was the one entitled “I’m Just a Bill” which outlined the process that congress uses to pass legislation. Seeing that lonely piece of paper sitting on the steps of Capitol Hill in Washington illustrated the sort of cooperation necessary in order to get things done. The 3 minute cartoon brought the complexities of legislative function down to its common sense core.
We have just celebrated the July 4th holiday and our declaration of independence from the rule of tyranny and oppression that so plagued us back in 1776. We value our independence on a corporate level when we stand and remove our hats as the Star Spangled Banner is played. It has also become an individual value as historically we have taught our children to grow up and become productive members of our society (although this instruction has seemingly been abandoned more and more of late). While being independent is an important virtue to have, it stops short of a higher value. Being interdependent underscores more possibilities in life than simply making your own way. I understand that the word interdependence can be used as a sort of new age buzz word, but the principle is Biblical. At the end of Acts chapter 2 we see the church coming together as a body, doing good amongst themselves and others. Galatians 5:13-14 tells us not to abuse our freedom for selfish gain but to “serve one another humbly in love.” Interdependence means that I am counting on you and I both to do the right thing and work together so that we all benefit. 1 Peter 2 says we as Christians are being built together as living stones in a spiritual house with Jesus as the Cornerstone to be a royal priesthood that declares His praises.
Understanding the work and sacrifice that went into our celebration of freedom and independence, I think we owe it to our God and our fellow man to sit down once again and work out how we can build up the Kingdom together. What’s your favorite cereal, again?
Jeff Christmas is the Associate Pastor of First Baptist Church of New Carlisle. Contact him at www.fbcnewcarlisle.org or by joining him at church on Sundays at 9 and 11:30 AM.
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