“Fireworks are on the 3rd of July this year.”
“Huh?” We were out on a family walk down our beautiful country road. My husband didn’t believe the four of us. With all the jokes played amongst our family, I could see why. My young adult sons had also thought I was joking when I’d first told them. In Clarke County, fireworks have always been on The Fourth of July.
“For real, Dad. There was some kind of problem with the supplier.”
He was still doubtful, and I didn’t blame him; but it was being shared on Facebook social media… The fireworks display in our county would come a day earlier this year.
True to tradition, it poured rain before we left, leaving the beginnings of a beautiful rainbow. It lasted for a whole hour, arching up to the left of Berryville’s town water tower.
Our family discussed the change. The announcement had said the problem was a supplier issue. One of my twin sons, Nick, said it probably wasn’t a problem with the fireworks, because they had arrived early. He pointed out it was more likely a printing issue, since all the banners and flyers had already been printed. These announcements informed the public that fireworks and festivities were coming to the fairgrounds… on July 3rd. I felt sad for anyone who hadn’t received the news: These people would show up a day late expecting the joy of an amazing night time show of lights in the sky. They’d be one day late… and miss it ALL. They’d have to wait until next year.
Not us. We’d been informed. Our county had shared and told us to spread the news. Share. People in our town had shared. I’d shared. I’d shared a reminder that I was at the fairgrounds waiting for fireworks, and that there was a HUGE rainbow and a glorious sunset outside, announcing the fireworks to begin at dusk.
Would people have received the news? Apparently, yes. Someone had mowed along the long grass and hay beside the long paved road where people annually park and set up camp chairs. The usual line of cars and trucks was lined up along the ditch, with more vehicles driving in every minute. Word of mouth, social media shares, and county announcements had worked. People had heard the news.
My husband kept wishing us a “Happy Third of July,” and for some reason, after the upteenth time, it was still funny. My daughter enjoyed throwing poppers beforehand. We lit sparklers in anticipation of the real thing. In the country neighborhood like ours, there is plenty of acreage, so fireworks were already going off nearby.
And though we always expect it; though we know it’s coming… It still always catches us by surprise: POP! POP! POP! SIZZZZZ! Here it is! The fireworks have started! My nine-year-old daughter shrieks with delight. The two of us are sitting on top of my Tahoe. She hugs me, clinging to my arm, “Thank you for bringing us!” “And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other” (Matt. 24:31 NIV).
“Of course, Baby! We wouldn’t want you to miss it. I love you, Honey!” And now, we are mesmerized, caught up by the beautiful display of booming fire and color. The fireworks are lighting up the dark night sky, making it easy to see everything around us as if it is day time.
After the grand finale, we are happy; joyful. Everyone’s in a good mood, and our family isn’t ready for it to end. My husband and I say yes to night owl Abby’s request to go to McDonald’s. Because we have a family filled with artists, musicians, and writers; we all chip in and summarize our night by chiming in alliteration: “Fireworks, food, and fun!”
And from the backseat, my other twenty- year-old, Jake, quietly adds, “… and family.” My heart warms like a crackling fire from the inside.
“Yes, I say, “Fireworks, food, fun, and FAMILY!”
Thank you, Jesus.
If you missed the fireworks, there’s always next year… or is there? Even if you never get to see the fireworks; the silver lining is that God is planning an amazing day for Christians around the world who love Jesus. That day will put fireworks displays to shame, even if you added them all together! The day Jesus comes will be the very best day, the day you do not, and cannot, afford to miss. ” ‘Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come” (Matt:24:42).
If we care enough to share the news about thirty minutes of fireworks once a year, and if we care enough that people are prepared to know if that date is changed; then do we care enough to share with the world to be prepared for the coming of Jesus? This day is a date no one knows, yet we must be prepared for its arrival. ” ‘But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Matt. 24:36).
Because once Jesus comes to take God’s children to Heaven, it will be hell on earth, and there will be no more celebrations. “For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again” (Matt. 24:21).
Will we share The Good News, so people will be ready? “See, I have told you ahead of time” (Matt. 24:25). After all, It only takes a spark, so will we pass it on?
Days will grow long, dark, and cold. Loved ones will be gone. Times will be unbearable. ” ‘Immediately after the distress of those days’ “the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken. ” ‘Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory (Matt: 24:29-30).’ “
But the silver Lining is that it doesn’t have to be that way for you. You can have fireworks, food, fun… and your FAMILY. The day Jesus comes, your loved ones will rejoice, saying… All it takes, is believing and receiving in The Light… which is Jesus Christ.
“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life’ ” (Jn. 8:12).
Happy Third of… um… Fourth of July…
I mean, Happy Eternity!
More Related: Waiting for the fireworks… and Waiting
“Jesus answered: ‘Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, “I am the Messiah,” and will deceive many” (Matt. 24:4-5).