4th of July in America - End Times

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“Saturday in the park
I think it was the Fourth of July.
Saturday in the park
I think it was the Fourth of July.
People dancing, people laughing -
A man selling ice cream
Singing Italian songs.
Eh Cumpari, ci vo sunari.
Can you dig it (yes, I can)
And I've been waiting such a long time
For Saturday.”
 
Happy 239th Birthday, America! You’re looking good. Have you been working out? Something’s different about you. New haircut, perhaps? No? Is that a new suit? Custom-made? I’ll figure it out. Whatever it is you’re doing, you should keep doing it. 
 
Growing up, I was a big fan of the pop-rock group Chicago. I don’t know if I was primarily drawn to them because of their robust brass section. Being that I was myself a trumpet player, I liked that about Chicago. Of all their hits – and they were many – one of my favorite singles was “Saturday in the Park.” Have you heard it? If not, you really should. This song – released in 1972 – boasts one of the most infectious piano riffs you’ll come across in any song of any genre. And if that wasn’t enough, an equally awesome trumpet arrangement is seamlessly placed 
 
above the piano. As an added bonus, “Saturday in the Park” directly and repeatedly references our most American of holidays – the 4th of July. Independence Day. The lyrics at the beginning of this piece are from the first verse of “Saturday.” How cool is it that this year’s July 4th fell on a Saturday? I’m actually listening to this classic song as I’m writing this. Call it divine inspiration.
 
“Saturday in the Park” is a song that makes me feel that no matter what’s happening – large or small, locally or nationally, good or bad – everything’s actually going to be ok. This song is a melodious reminder that God is always in control. It strengthens my deeply held belief that sooner or later, God’s people will come together and talk and figure out what needs to be done for our greatest good. When you get right down to it, we do love each other – even if we don’t say it, act like it, or loathe admitting it. 
 
Good people, we’re living in the end times. I don’t say that to frighten you. I say it matter-of-factly. I don’t share that to anger anyone. I actually share it to calm you. This is not a bad thing – it’s a good thing. We can make it good. We have the power to make that so. That power resides in your heart, your mind, your spirit, and in your very soul. I’m entirely serious.
 
“Saturday in the park
You'd think it was the Fourth of July.
Saturday in the park
You'd think it was the Fourth of July.
People talking, really smiling
A man playing guitar -
Singing for us all
Will you help him change the world?
Can you dig it (yes, I can)
And I've been waiting such a long time
For today.”
 
As a child of God, a pastor, a father, a son, a brother, a friend, an optimist, a realist, a pragmatist, a Thomasvillian, a Georgian, an American, a proud black man, and a fellow being – I humbly, but proudly stand on God’s Word as I submit to you that some things in our postmodern society need to die. Yes, you read that correctly.
 
Racism – along with every other form of discrimination committed by any group against any other group(s) – needs to end. Poverty needs to end. The societal shaming of the have-nots by those blessed enough to be the haves needs to end. It’s pastime for indifference to perish from the earth. Laugh if you will. Call me a naive liberal if you must. But you cannot ignore what I’m saying because deep down, you know that I’m right. Those three things I just suggested would immediately make this city, this county, this state, this region, this nation, and even this planet a better place in which to live and work and play. And for my conservative brothers and sisters, those three things wouldn’t cost anyone a cent. Can you dig it? I know that you can.
 
Hatred – be it political, relational, financial, actual, or otherwise – needs to end. Hatred is not of God. It never was. Anything not of God cannot triumph. Love will always win over hate.
 
The 4th of July is supposed to be symbol of our independence. A time when we jointly celebrate America's capacity to create. To transform. To transcend. Or do I have that all wrong?
 
I love you, my hometown, my state, and my country. I love my family, my friends, and my faith. I love myself. However, I love The Lord most of all.
 
“Slow motion riders fly the colors of the day
A bronze man still can tell stories his own way
Listen, children - all is not lost.
All is not lost.
Funny days in the park...
Every day's the Fourth of July.”
 
When we end our attachments to negativity and live together in positivity, every day will be like Saturday in the park. Every day will be the 4th of July. Chicago was – and is – right. So turn it up.
 
That is all.

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