*Every Liberty Bell should be cracked!
Funny thing about that Liberty Bell that hangs in Philadelphia's Independence Hall: it began to develop a crack from the very first time it was rung. It was a massive thing: twelve feet in circumference, 2080 pounds; and it cost £100 too, which was a massive price tag back then. When the bell arrived in 1752, they hung it in the State House at Philadelphia and gave it a try and—sure enough—it cracked on the very first ring! They took it down and re-cast it, and it cracked again. They took it down and re-cast it once more and this time it held.
For a while anyway. Until 1776 that is. With the events that were happening that year—and the years that followed—there was no way that bell was going to be rung 'gently', if you know what I mean! On July 8 of that year, when the Declaration of Independence was read publicly for the first time, the bell rang out loud and clear.
Then on October 4, 1781, it rang again to proclaim the surrender of Gen. Cornwallis. You can imagine the exhilaration of that moment! A band of merchants and farmers had just defeated the greatest empire in the world. Did anyone in their wildest dreams imagine it could happen?
Two years later, on April 16, 1783, it rang out for the proclamation of peace between England and the newly liberated United States of America! After that, people tried to go easy on the bell. It hung there silent for 41 years until, in 1824, General Lafayette visited America. By far the greatest ally the American Colonies had known throughout the Revolution, Lafayette's visit stirred the hearts of all Americans. When news got out that he was passing through Philadelphia, folks just couldn't resist. Someone climbed up into that belfry and rang out a welcome with all the force he could muster. The Liberty Bell was getting a workout.
When America was fifty years old it rang again—that was 1826. That same year it rang to toll the deaths of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. By the Fourth of July, 1831, the bell began to show signs of cracking again. They rang it one more time, vowing that that would be the last. But it wasn't the last. It just didn't seem right not to ring it for the hundredth anniversary of Washington's birthday, so they did (1832); then once again, at the death of Lafayette in 1834.
Finally, in 1835 when Chief Justice John Marshall died, they rang it one time too many. That's when the great Liberty Bell developed the crack we're familiar with today. It started at the rim climbed upward relentlessly toward the bell's crown.
And with that, the great bell was left silent. It now hangs as a museum piece in Independence Hall. Tourists pass by and shake their heads: "What a shame that they couldn't keep it from cracking like that! What a pity it can't still be rung!"
If you want my opinion, well ... that crack doesn't bother me in the slightest. As a matter of fact, I think every liberty bell should have one! It is that crack that proves, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the message of 'Liberty' will never be stifled or constrained! May it always be a message that rings with force and fire! I think they ought to take that bell out of its 'showcase' in Independence Hall and ring the daylights out of it until it completely falls apart! After all, that's what bells are for! Let them build an-other one if they have to!
And—you know?—no one should be ringing forth the message of liberty more forcefully than the Christians of this nation, don't you agree? After all, Christ is the one who gave us freedom in the first place. And not just freedom from the Brits, either. Freedom from the bondage of sin and its constant driving tyranny!
Freedom from guilt and despair and the fear of death. The freedom of a new life in Christ, which alters the course of personal behavior, redeems the lost and the lonely, restores families, communi-ties and nations. "Now you have been set free," we read in Gal. 5:1, "set free from sin to become servants of righteousness."
All of us who are Christians have a message of liberty to proclaim. We should do so forcefully, without apol-ogy.
We should be cracking the bell! Will Americans ever do it again? I sure do hope so!
Do you know what's written on the very rim of that Liberty Bell, carved into the bronze in words that will never fade? "Proclaim liberty through all the land, unto all the inhabitants thereof." And do you know where those words come from? The Word of God, dear ones! Leviticus 25:10.
Let's have someone proudly report that to the 'Cancel Culture Politburo'!
See you Sunday. Have a great 4th ! RAS.