When we think of the Fourth of July we often think of family, food, fireworks, and freedom. Some of us perhaps also reflect on the great price that was paid for that freedom. We call this day, Independence Day, but do we really take time to think of that day in 1776.
It is almost startling to think of the risks taken by those first patriots. The signers of the Declaration of Independence had everything to lose. They were well-known men in the colonies, but they were just that colonists, and still subjects of King George III. Over the years leading up to this “declaration” was a growing rift between the colonists and the mother land. Being a small island there was not an abundance of raw material resources like the colonies had and so much of the raw material was sent back to the mother land.
There was much talk of war (rebellion) from the mother country and during this war a “Declaration of Independence” was being drafted. Although two others helped Jefferson in the initial stages it was primarily his work, and it still had to be approved and signed by the representatives of the colonies.
This was a defining moment, because there could be no doubt as to what the intentions were of the colonies, to be free, independent, and self-governing. Signing the document would be the nail that holds the billboard of freedom for all to see, or if the colonists lost it was the final nail in the coffin of those who committed treason against the royal crown of King George III.
When stepping up to sign this document John Hancock remarked. “There, I guess King George will be able to read that.” John Hancock’s signature is one of the most noticeable on the document because of its sheer size. Either this war and declaration would result in birth of a nation, or these brave souls would be hanged for treason.
Paul in Romans 1:16, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes…” Would we, knowing that all could be on the line for us, step out and step up saying that we are not ashamed of the gospel? Do we know and believe it is the power of God even if others can’t see it or it may cost us dearly? John Hancock was not afraid to boldly sign the Declaration of Independence, even if it meant his death, knowing in life he had lived for such a noble cause as freedom.
Will we be willing to put our “John Hancock” on our faith? Will we be those that are not ashamed of the gospel, no matter the cost, because it is good, right, pure, and it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes? Many have died for this very belief, because they know it to be true. Will the living of our faith be as bold as the signature of Hancock? I pray so.