July 2019 

The Glory of God

I can still remember that 4th of July so many years ago. I was in college and was at a family gathering with my friend at his uncle’s house on the lake. We had spent the day swimming, tubing, eating and playing volleyball. As night began to fall, the younger generation piled into the speedboat while the older generation took the more stable pontoon boat. We each found our place and waited on the placid water for the fireworks to begin.

Soon enough, fireballs shot up to the sky from whatever barge or pier was home base. Those fireballs exploded into showers of red, white, and blue streaks across the sky. We followed with the obligatory cries of, “Oooh! Ahhh! Wow!” The sky boomed and flashed as the fireworks continued.

But something strange happened that night. As those fireworks went off, what we called “heat lightening” also went off in the far background. (I know that “heat lightning” is a myth. It was simply lightning, but the lightning was so far away that it caused no threat to our little party.)

What I found most remarkable was that when the lightning would flash, it would drown out the flash of the fireworks. As great as the fireworks were, they paled in comparison with God’s fireworks in the background.

Three decades later, I still think about that 4th of July. I still think about the beauty of that night. I still think about how God reminded me that, as great as man tries to make things, God way is always better and more awe-inspiring. It reminds me of this passage: “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands” (Psalm 19:1, NIV).

As you celebrate the anniversary of our country’s Declaration of Independence, as you watch the fireworks go off around the area this month, as you “scare the crows” away from your own little gatherings, I hope you also remember how God—whose glory is far beyond our own—declared us independent from the curse of law through the blood of his Son, Jesus Christ. I hope you remember how awesome our God really is, and give thanks to him for all his goodness in our lives and for giving us this great country!

God bless your celebrations!

~ Pastor Ben Golisch

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. ~ Romans 5:8