Today is our day set aside to celebrate freedom and independence here in the United States. Our predecessors freed themselves from England. They became a self-determining country. But in order to bring this country into existence there was great harm exerted on the pre-existing residents as well as the enslaved people that were forced to build it. We have a checkered past to be sure and this is a complicated day to celebrate.
What do we as Christians do with the freedoms that have been won for us by Christ for the sake of ourselves and others that are not fully freed?
Martin Luther said (in On Christian Liberty)
- A Christian is a perfectly free Lord of all, subject to none.
- A Christian is a perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject to all.
But we are called to use that freedom for the sake of others. We are freed from having to earn our own salvations (which we could never do) so that we can use that freedom to be a blessing and a joy to others. We are "freed for..."
None of us are wholly free. We are in bondage to sin. We don't have complete liberty to control ourselves, our circumstances and our destinies. But many of us do have a large measure of freedom. Perhaps we could spend some time today and in the days ahead reflecting on how that freedom could be used to bless and help liberate others who are not so free.
Blessings on your observances of July 4th. Be safe, be grateful and be generous.