As we head into this weekend to celebrate our country’s Independence Day, we often see freedom in commercials, on billboards, on social media—basically everywhere we turn. Have you taken time to contemplate what freedom for our country and as a Christian means?
As someone who served in our military for twenty years, I take our freedom seriously. I believe we need to protect our freedom. I also believe freedom comes with responsibility. As the saying goes, freedom isn’t free. If it isn’t taken care of, it will be lost.
Our Christian freedom had a cost as well. It cost the Son of God an excruciating death after having been severely flogged. It cost Him having His Father turn His back on Him. The Apostles, His mother, and other followers were distraught. They were shocked. They saw their dreams of a free Israel die with Him.
The good news is He rose again on the third day. We often gloss over those three days of mourning, sorrow, pain, and lost dreams. The freedom we enjoy in Christ cost many people dearly. True, the pain and sorrow ended in a relatively short period of time, but their dream of Israel being free of Roman rule was not realized.
Lest we minimize the dream the Jews had of their nation being a mighty nation as in the time of David, spend a few moments contemplating what it would be like to live under the rule of a foreign country. Think about being forced to obey foreign soldiers as they walked the streets of your town. Ponder having to obey laws enacted to elevate the foreign power while reducing the local population to nothing more than servants.
As we celebrate the freedom we enjoy, both in our country and as Christians, let’s reflect on the cost of that freedom. Let’s also take on the responsibility to maintain our freedom. For most of us, our freedom has been handed to us with little or no sacrifice. However, it doesn’t eliminate the sacrifice someone else made so we may enjoy our freedom.
I pray we contemplate the cost of our freedom. I pray we give thanks to Jesus for being willing to sacrifice for us. I pray each one of us takes on the responsibility of maintaining our freedom. Enjoy your freedom. Take your freedom seriously. Work to maintain freedom. Be thankful for your freedom. Be responsible with your freedom. Celebrate your freedom.
Galatians 5:13-15 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.