We expect to be staying in. Among other things, most of the parades, etc. have already occurred, and in any event the overheating problem on our 17-year-old vehicle has not been fixed, so we're not going to tempt fate, not on a holiday.
And given the propensity of the local citizenry to engage in HEAVY use of alcohol during these celebratory occasions, with the expected results of vehicular carnage, staying off the roads is probably the smartest move anyway.
When we lived just outside of Knoxville, Tennessee in that 1992-1999 era, there was a wonderful and HUGE fireworks display that would take place every year along the river at the Henley Street bridge. Wonderful it was, we would take the kids and essentially "tailgate" with thousands of others for the show. I understand that it doesn't take place any more, which is a shame.
Other places where we have lived have other events. The area in western Arkansas where we lived 1999-2004 has what they call a "Freedom Fest" with a 5k run, music and vendors, etc. on the town square all day, and fireworks at dark. We used to enjoy it greatly.
But with the car situation, Wife's physical state, the drunk drivers about, and no kids of our own to take, as well as the fact that the "private enterprise" fireworks that have been going off in this neighborhood for the last several days have been more than enough for us, we're about satiated with the thing.
But we hope that others enjoy the occasion.
The Old Testament reading today is chapters 29 and 30 of the book of Job.
What do you do when God just doesn't make sense?
Job is faced with that, and many of us have as well. It's a universal question. The "that's not FAIR!" cry is often heard from kids, but quite a few adults have at least thought the very same thing. We somewhat understand it when bad results come from bad behavior. We have a harder time when the linkage is either invisible or non-existent. When good conduct, even by Biblical standards, lands us in trouble, and not from the world but, apparently, from the Lord.
Job, like many of us perhaps, thought he was in good shape all around. And then his world collapsed around him. Been there? I have. It's an awful place to be. We know, some of us at least, that the Lord knew a million years before, what would happen, and that it is not necessarily a mark of punishment. Job's ordeal is a very old example of that, as are the ordeals of the martyrs and of Jesus Himself. But it's hard to remember that when the alligators are snapping at you.
When we think, "we've got it all covered and under control", things can and sometimes do raise their heads and upset our expectations.
The New Testament reading is chapter 12 of the Acts of the Apostles.
Need an example of occasions when faithfulness to the Lord gets you in trouble? Here are several. Again, this is a matter that the "prosperity gospel" preachers on TV generally gloss over, despite a few thousand years' of examples, and many taking place this very day around the world.
And yet, the Lord constantly does those things that a worldly-wise person would think impossible. Including more than a few in the church, then and now.